Nighthawks Split Doubleheader With Vikings on Friday

Photo Credit: Dylan Foran
Photo Credit: Dylan Foran

TUCSON, Ariz. - A walk-off win in extra innings gets the Nighthawks back on the winning track, early, but a first inning Nighthawks lead wouldn't hold in the second game after Bethany Lutheran came through with some big innings in the afternoon session.


Game One: Newbury 2 - Bethany Lutheran 1

An RBI double down the right field line by Nighthawks junior Matthew Sobray (Santa Clarita, Calif.) scored senior Brian Rhone (North Haven, Conn.) from second, giving the Nighthawks the walk-off, 2-1 victory in extra innings over Bethany Lutheran College Vikings on Friday morning at the Kino Sports Complex.

The Nighthawks eighth began with freshman Justin Banks (Corona, Calif.) reaching on an error and being pinch run for by Rhone. Rhone advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. 

With one out, the Vikings intentionally walked sophomore David Center (Medford, Mass.), giving the Nighthawks two on with one out.

A flyout to right would put two outs on the board, but Sobray, the next batter, came through with a double down the line to give the Nighthawks the 2-1 victory.

Sobray finished 2-for-4 including the RBI double and a single in the sixth. Junior Billy Stephen (Windermere, Fla.) also batted 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stole base. 

Vikings senior Jordan Grams (Mankato, Minn.) batted 2-for-2 with a pair of singles. Junior Walter Linde (Wells, Minn.) finished 3-for-4 knocking in the lone Vikings run. Senior Nolan Grose (Waterville, Minn.) batted 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a pair of strikeouts.

The Vikings started the scoring in the third with Grams reaching base after being hit by pitch as the leadoff in the inning. Grams advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single by Linde would give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.

It took until the sixth for the Nighthawks to get on the board. Still trailing 1-0, Stephen singled with one out and another single by Sobray would give the Nighthawks runners on the corners.

On the next play, Sobray was caught between first and second after a pick-off attempt by the Vikings pitcher. Stephen scored from third on the play, tying the score 1-1.

The Vikings looked poised to grab the lead in the eighth, with senior Brandyn Olsen (Blue Earth, Minn.) on third with one out. 

Senior Ethan Forrest (East Bridgewater, Mass.) and the Nighthawks got out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly out to right field, ending the threat, keeping the score at 1-1, leading to the walk-off in the Nighthawks eighth.

Forrest improves to 3-0 this season with the win. Forrest has pitched a complete game in all three of his starts and holds an ERA of just 1.64. Vikings sophomore Anthony Radloff (Green Bay, Wis.) takes the loss, pitching 7 2/3 innings, allowing the two runs on eight hits, while striking out seven.


Game Two: Bethany Lutheran 16 - Newbury 6

With the Nighthawks cruising and leading 4-0 after the top of the third, the Vikings produced a three-run bottom of the inning and a four-run fourth inning to overtake the Nighthawks early advantage in the Vikings 16-6 victory over the Nighthawks in the second game of the doubleheader between these teams.

Vikings junior Nick Caldeen (Blaine, Minn.) batted 4-for-4, including a trio of doubles, five RBIs, and two runs scored. Junior Danny Kneeland (Windom, Minn.) batted 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Junior John Brown (Lake City, Minn.) finished 2-for-2, including a triple and three runs scored.

Rhone batted 2-for-3 in the afternoon with a pair of singles and a stolen base. Center also finished 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three runs scored. Junior Jim McGrorry (Oakhurst, N.J.) also was 2-for-3 with an RBI single.

The Bethany Lutheran third started with a single by Brown, who proceeded to steal second on the next play. Junior Kevin Harris (El Paso, Texas) singled to score Brown and advanced to second on the throw.

Next up, Caldeen doubled to score Harris, cutting the Nighthawks lead to 4-2. An RBI single later in the inning by Kneeland would bring the Vikings to within one, 4-3.

In the Vikings fourth, Bethany Lutheran put two on with one out thanks to a walk and a hit batter.

Caldeen doubled for a second time, scoring two Vikings to take a 5-4 lead. Caldeen advanced to third on the throw home.

Another hit batter and a stolen base put runners at second and third with two outs for Bethany Lutheran. Kneeland would come through again for the Vikings, plating the two runners with a two-RBI single, putting the Vikings ahead 7-4 after four.

The Nighthawks threatened in the sixth with runners on the corners and two outs, but Rhone was forced out at second on a groundball by Stephen that ended the inning.

The Vikings added nine runs, seven unearned, in the bottom of the inning.

The Nighthawks started strong, all starting with a two-out rally in the top of the first. Center reached on a walk to started the rally. McGrorry singled, moving Center to third.

Sobray singled to score Center and advanced to second on an error by the second baseman; McGrorry to third.

Another Viking error on an at-bat by C.J. Ingraham (Geogretown, Mass.) would score McGrorry and Sobray, giving the Nighthawks the early 3-0 lead.

The lead increased to 4-0 in the third with an RBI groundout by Sobray, scoring Center on the play.

The Nighthawks finish their time in Arizona tomorrow evening with one final doubleheader, starting at 1:00 p.m. EST against Marian (Wis.), followed by an 8:30 p.m. EST game against local program Salem State University.