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Bay Sox Drop Duel of First Place Teams in 7-1 Loss to Nighthawks

June 12, 2018 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - New Bedford Bay Sox News Release

Tuesday night saw a matchup of the only two teams in the NECBL with just one loss on the season, as the New Bedford Bay Sox (4-1) hosted the Upper Valley Nighthawks (3-1). The road team dominated throughout, defeating the Bay Sox 7-1 for New Bedford's first home loss of the year.

The Nighthawks' quintet of pitchers held the hot Bay Sox offense to just one run on six hits in the loss. New Bedford entered the game hitting .270 on the season, but had just one batter - Boston College's Jacob Yish (2-for-4), earn more than one hit in the frustrating loss.

It was a pitching duel early on at blustery Paul Walsh Field, with starters Serafino Brito (Rutgers) and Brody Lawson keeping balls down in the zone to induce ground balls and empty swings. New Bedford's Ryan Markey (St. John's) was the only hitter to earn an extra-base hit through the first three innings, as he ripped a two-out double in the first inning in his debut with the squad.

The Nighthawks took the first lead of the night in the top of the fourth, with two wind-aided fly balls resulting in two runs. Matt Tarabek led off with a double to left center field that took off in the breezy conditions to reach the wall, and cleanup hitter Christopher Berry launched a 2-0 pitch to left field for his first homer of the season to give Upper Valley a 2-0 lead.

Brito responded with two straight strikeouts, but got in even more trouble after back-to-back walks to the 7th and 8th hitters in the order. Eric Feliz drove in two more runs with his fourth double of the season, and leadoff hitter Alvin Melendez followed suit with another double for the fifth Upper Valley run of the game. Brito was pulled in favor of Jack Owens (Bryant), who stranded Melendez at second to end the inning.

Owens loaded the bases in the fifth via a hit batter, an error, and a walk, and Noah Stern (Barry) had the inevitable task of entering with the sacks packed. Stern induced a grounder to the mound from catcher Eddie Modica, but turned to throw to first instead of attempting to start an inning-ending double play. Stern did get out of the inning without further damage, but the Nighthawks took a 6-0 lead into the second half of the game.

The Bay Sox got on the board in the bottom of the fifth, as they filled the bases with runners on two singles by Yish and Logan Allen (Bridgeport) and a walk from Elijah Brown (Sacred Heart). Yish crossed the dish after a wild pitch from Lawson, but the freshman from UNC-Wilmington retired Markey and Robert Emery (San Francisco) to prevent the home team from putting a crooked number on the board.

Both teams remained off the board until the final inning, with R.J. Wagner (Dayton), Jake Rockefeller (Rhode Island), and, surprisingly, Austin Markmann (Sacred Heart) hurling during the last three innings. Markmann was named to the Week 1 Honor Roll after leading the Bay Sox and the entire NECBL with a .571 batting average, but made his only appearance in the game on the hill in the final frame. Markmann issued three walks and one hit, with Anthony Quirion scoring from second after a lengthy run-down between first and second base by Modica.

New Bedford will have little time to anguish over the loss, as they face two division rivals for the second time in the young season. Historic Cardines Field is the site of Wednesday's matchup between the Bay Sox and the Newport Gulls, while the Bay Sox make their second trip to Kingston, RI to face the Ocean State Waves on Thursday night. The Bay Sox' next home encounter is on Friday night, when the Winnipesaukee Muskrats enter Paul Walsh Field for a 6:30pm matchup.

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