SANFORD, ME. — Scoring three times in the first inning, the Upper Valley Nighthawks downed the Sanford Mainers 5-2 on Tuesday evening at Goodall Park.
Picking up a huge win in the playoff race, the Nighthawks are now 21-17 overall and sit in the third position in the Northern Division. They are just a half-game behind Keene for second and also a half-game ahead of fourth-place Sanford - which is 20-17.
After a quick out from the leadoff spot, the Nighthawks acted on the gameplan and jumped out to an early lead. Notching base hits in four of the next five at-bats, Upper Valley claimed a 3-0 lead. Austin Wilhite kicked it off with a double as Greg Hardison singled to bring the former around for the first run. Moving up in the following plate appearance, Hardison scored when Anthony Meduri singled. The latter tallied the Nighthawks final run of the frame, motoring around from first on Ross Cadena's double.
Adding insurance in the eighth, Wilhite slapped another double before another Hardison base knock. In the ninth, a two-out base on balls to Bryant Bowen came back to hurt the Mainers as a single, walk and another single - by Hardison - led to another plated runner, making it 5-2.
On the mound, Jordan DiValerio delivered another sensational performance, going 6.2 innings and surrendering only two earned. He also struck out five Moose while earning his third win of the campaign. Recording the hold, Brian Weissert went 1.1 innings allowing one hit and no runs. A.J. Franklin picked up the save with one inning of no-hit ball.
Upper Valley breaks from action on Wednesday before returning for a 6:30 p.m. contest at Keene on Thursday, which will likely hold heavy playoff implications.