Nighthawks Drop Second Straight to Spartans in Arizona

Photo Credit: Dylan Foran
Photo Credit: Dylan Foran

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Aurora (Ill.) Spartans pulled away with a slew of one and two-run innings, led by a 3-for-3 outing by Spartans junior Michael Fidler (Maple Park, Ill.) in the Aurora Spartans 11-1 victory over the Newbury Nighthawks on Wednesday afternoon at Kino Sports Complex. 

Fidler, who had a solo home run, his fifth of the season, also finished with a pair of singles and scored three times, reaching base safely on all five plate appearances. Senior Cody Gregory (Wheaton, Ill.) batted 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Junior Cale Sparks (Aurora, Ill.) was 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs.

Junior Matthew Sobray (Santa Clarita, Calif.) batted 2-for-4 with a triple and run scored in the sixth. Junior Matthew Peluso (Woodbridge, ONT, CAN) finished with a double in four at-bats. Freshman Dante Serino (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) finished with a single and stolen base.

The scoring started in the second following Spartans senior Nick Turner (Roselle, Ill.) tripling with one out in the inning. Gregory singled on the next at-bat, bringing home Turner for the 1-0 lead.

In the third, the Spartans advanced runners to second and third thanks to a two-out wild pitch. Later in the same at-bat, with Turner at the plate, another pitch found its way through the legs of the Nighthawks catcher and to the backstop. However, the catcher had trouble locating where the ball finished, resulting in both runners scoring for the Spartans, who now led 3-0.

The Spartans were poised for a big inning in the fourth, but with the bases loaded and no out, the Nighthawks turned a 6-4-3 double-play, scoring one for the Spartans. Aurora added a run prior to the double play, thanks to a Nighthawks error. Aurora led 5-0 after four.

A two-out rally in the sixth would give the Nighthawks their only run of the afternoon. A triple by Sobray to the right-center field gap, followed by a double to the left field corner by junior Jim McGrorry (Oakhurst, N.J.) would cut the lead to 8-1.

Aurora slowly gathered the lead with success hitting with the lead-off batter (5-for-8) and with runners on with less than two outs (5-for-6). The Spartans scored in all but one inning on the afternoon.

Another day off for the Nighthawks on Thursday will lead to a doubleheader on Friday morning, into the afternoon against Bethany Lutheran College; first pitch on Friday is set for 11:00 a.m. EST.