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Nighthawks Topple SteepleCats in Season Opener

June 7, 2018 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - Upper Valley Nighthawks News Release

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - Drew Tipton, Alvin Melendez, and Greg Harrison each collected three hits, as the Upper Valley Nighthawks opened up their season with a 10-4 road victory over the North Adams SteepleCats on Thursday night.

The Nighthawks found their offensive groove right away as Drew Tipton (Arkansas State University) and Alvin Melendez (Fordham University) led off the game with back-to-back singles. Anthony Quirion (Lamar University) reached on an error, which scored Tipton, before Matt Tarabek (Fordham University) drove in Melendez. The Nighthawks led the SteepleCats 2-0 after an inning, but the offensive showing had only just begun.

North Adams countered with a run in the home-half of the 2nd inning, but Upper Valley fired back with a five-run, top of the third inning. Anthony Meduri (Binghamton University), Greg Hardison (UNC Greensboro), Melendez, Tipton, and Tarabek pieced together a four-hit inning to put the Nighthawks ahead 7-1.

Upper Valley added two more runs to their tally in the 4th after Quirion scored on a passed ball and Hardison's RBI single to drive in Davis Mikell (Castleton University) from third base.

The SteepleCats showed some signs of life in the 5th inning when Jackson Coutts led off the inning with a double. He advanced to third base on a fielder's choice, before James Cillento drove him in on a sacrifice fly.

Upper Valley sealed the deal in the top of the 9th inning, when Tipton and Melendez once again pieced together back-to-back singles. Hunter Gibson then reached base on fielder's choice, in which North Adams second-basemen threw the ball away, and allowed the Nighthawks to scrape across their tenth run.

Nighthawks starter Ryan Parker (University of West Georgia) was credited with the win after a fantastic outing, in which he tossed four innings, gave up one run, and walked two. His college teammate, Wes Bucher, kept the SteepleCats quiet, providing three innings of relief. Jordy Allard (Southern NH University) pitched a hitless 8th inning for Upper Valley, walking one and fanning two.

Ty Adcock (Elon University) found his way into a jam trying to finish off the SteepleCats in the bottom of the 9th. Three walks, a hit batter, and a fielder's choice gave North Adams hope in the final frame, as they clawed back with a pair of runs before the Nighthawks closed the door with a 10-4 final score.

The Nighthawks are back in action tomorrow, as they travel to Keene for a contest with the Swamp Bats at 6:30 PM. The team will open up their season at home on Saturday night, playing host to the Winnipesaukee Muskrats at 6:30 PM. Opening Night will be Magnet Schedule Giveaway sponsored by Mascoma Savings Bank, where all attending will receive a 2018 magnet schedule. The next night, Sunday June 10th will be Princess & Pirate Night. Kids and adults are encouraged to channel their inner Cinderella or Blackbeard and join us for a night of fun. There will be Disney princesses on hand for pictures and a treasure hunt.

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