WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. —The Upper Valley Nighthawks now trail the Vermont Mountaineers 3-2 in the Governor's Cup series (a six-game showdown), as they dropped a doubleheader (10-6 L, 5-1 L) to the in-state rivals on Sunday evening at Maxfield Sports Complex.
Vermont 10, Upper Valley 6
The Mountaineers attacked the Nighthawks early, plating six runs in the first inning on a Nate Grys gland slam and a pair of RBI knocks from Nolan Tressler and Trae Hall.
Upper Valley countered in the bottom of the first frame with an Anthony Quirion (Lamar University) sacrifice fly that scored Austin Wilhite (Georgia Tech).
The Nighthawks struck again in the bottom of the 4th. Homers from Quirion and Bryant Bowen (University of Southern Mississippi) added another pair of runs to Upper Valley tally, making the score 6-3 with three innings left to play.
The home rally continued into the bottom of the 6th inning, as Anthony Meduri (Binghamton University) hit a two-run shot to bring the Nighthawks within one run, making the score 6-5.
The Mountaineers tacked on four additional runs in the final frame, thanks to a pair of doubles and an RBI ground out.
Upper Valley tried to spark some life in the bottom of the 7th, scoring one run on a Bowen RBI single, but that would not be enough to overcome the deficit
Nighthawks starter Levi Thomas (Troy University) ran into some trouble, surrendering six runs on six hits in his two innings on the bump. Reliever David Sampson (Plymouth State University) cruised through the next three innings, giving up only three hits and striking out three Mountaineers.AJ Franklin (Vanderbilt University) gave up four runs on five hits and struck out two batters to finish off the night on the hill.
Vermont 5, Upper Valley 0
Vermont struck first in the second game as well, plating three runs in the top of the 4th on a 2-RBI double from outfielder Sam Duran and an RBI fielder’s choice from catcher Tanner Gallman.
Nate Grys brought Vermont’s bats back to life in the top of the 7th, driving in a pair of runs on a 2-RBI triple, giving Vermont a 5-0 lead.
Upper Valley avoided the shutout by scraping a pair of runs across the plate in the bottom of the 7th on a Matt Tarabek (Fordham University) RBI groundout and a Riley Smith sacrifice fly. The late inning efforts were not enough for the Nighthawks, as Vermont cruised on to the 5-2 victory.
Nighthawks starter Cole Stetzar (St. Joseph’s University) pitched four innings, gave up four hits, three runs, and a pair of walks. Ty Adcock (Elon University) replaced him from the bullpen, pitching a one-hit inning and striking out one. Jack Ipsen (Bryant University) threw two innings of one-hit baseball to finish off the night, giving up two runs and striking out three.
Upper Valley hits the road tomorrow, visiting the Winnipesaukee Muskrats for a contest at 6:05 P.M. The Nighthawks are expected to start RHP Danny Wirchansky from Pace University.
The Nighthawks return home on Wednesday, hosting the North Adams SteepleCats at 6:30 P.M. It will be Superhero Night to benefit Children's Hospital at Dartmouth. Come dressed as your favorite superhero and help us raise money for CHaD. If you cannot join us at the ballpark, Dan Stein and Matt Stewart will have all of the action covered on the NECBL Broadcast Network starting at 6:20 P.M.