Nighthawks Fall to Swamp Bats in Extra Innings
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt.- A ninth inning rally sparked by pinch-hitter Eric Feliz was a pivotal moment, but fielding errors continue to haunt the Nighthawks, as they fell to the Keene Swamp Bats, 7-5, on Thursday night.
The Swamp Bats did not take long to get on the scoreboard, as they plated a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. 2016 Nighthawk Charlie Concannon reached base on a two-out double before his teammate Brandon Smith drove a pitch over the fence in left-center field.
In the home-half of the inning, Alvin Melendez (Fordham University) and Riley Smith (University of Minnesota) led off the inning with back-to-back hits before the Nighthawks managed to cut Keene's lead in half on an Anthony Quirion (Lamar University) fielder's choice.
Ross Cadena (Wichita State University) led off the bottom of the second frame with a single before coming around to score on a Bryant Bowen (University of Southern Mississippi) double and tie up the ballgame, 2-2.
Cadena led off the fourth inning with a single to shallow right field, and Bowen drove him in again with an RBI single to give the Nighthawks a one-run lead.
Upper Valley went on to load the bases with one out in the 4th, and Melendez reached base on a productive fielder's choice, which scored Hunter Gibson (Wichita State University) from third base and put the Nighthawks on top by a score of 4-2.
The Nighthawks ran into a nightmare inning once again, as Keene loaded the bases in the top of the sixth before back-to-back knocks and an Anthony Meduri (Binghamton University) fielding error plated three runs gave the Swamp Bats a 5-4 lead.
Pinch-hitter Eric Feliz (University of Notre Dame) led off the bottom of the 9th with a double and came around to tie the game on a strikeout wild pitch and force extra innings.
Keene loaded the bases in the top of the tenth frame, and eventually plated a run when Quirion missed the mark on a throw trying to get the lead runner out at home plate. One batter later, Mitchell Golden was issued a walk, which forced in another run for the Swamp Bats and gave them the 7-5 lead that stuck.
Nighthawks starter Ryan Parker (University of West Georgia) tossed four innings, surrendered five hits, two runs, and struck out four Swamp Bats. His college teammate Wes Bucher provided two innings of relief, gave up 3 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), walked one, and fanned two. Cole Stetzar (St. Joseph's University) pitched 1.1 innings of perfect relief before David Sampson (Plymouth State University) entered the game. Sampson threw two innings and struck out three before Ty Adcock (Elon University) replaced him in the 10th inning.
Upper Valley will hit the road tomorrow, traveling to Holyoke, Massachusetts for a 6:35 P.M. contest with the Valley Blue Sox. Reid VanScoter is listed as the Nighthawks' probable starter; he's coming off a win, tossing five innings, and fanning four in a 3-1 victory at Vermont last Saturday.
The Nighthawks return home on Saturday evening, playing host to the North Adams SteepleCats at 6:30 PM. It is Team Photo Giveaway Night at the ballpark, where all in attendance will receive a free poster sized team picture. If you can't make it to the field, Dan Stein and Matt Stewart will have all of the action covered on the NECBL Broadcast Network starting at 6:20 PM.
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New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from June 21, 2018
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