TUCSON, Ariz. - A comeback in the opening game of the doubleheader and an offensive explosion in the second game lead to the Nighthawks to a pair of wins over Simpson College of Iowa in the opening games for the Nighthawks at the Kino Sports Complex. The 6-0 start is the best start to the season over a six-game stretch in program history; the Nighthawks had a 5-1 start in 2012.
Game One: Newbury 6 – Simpson 5
Trailing 5-0 heading to the top of the sixth, the Nighthawks put together a five-run frame on four hits to tie the game 5-5 and an error which scored Mitchell Walsh (Westport, Mass.) in the top of the seventh with two outs gave the Nighthawks a 6-5, comeback victory, over Simpson College in the opening game in Arizona for the Nighthawks.
Nighthawks senior Ethan Forrest (East Bridgewater, Mass.) pitched a complete game, allowing five runs, three earned, striking out five. The win moves Forrest to 2-0 on the season and gives him the program record for wins in a career with 15. Forrest now holds a career record of 15-8 with a 3.05 ERA.
Nighthawks freshman Dante Serino (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) continued the hot start to his season, finishing 2-for-3 in the opening game. Walsh scored twice for Newbury.
Storm senior Trent Dooley (St. Marys, Iowa) finished 2-for-4. Sophomore Nathan Carlin (Huxley, Iowa) finished 1-for-3 with a triple.
A four-run third inning for the Storm gave them the 5-0 lead. An RBI triple for Dooley got the scoring started in the inning. A two-run double by sophomore Jacob Petry (Council Bluffs, Iowa) would also contribute to the big inning for the Storm.
Serino started the sixth with a single for the Nighthawks. A walked batter and a passed ball would give the Nighthawks runners on second and third with no out.
Serino scored on a groundout by senior Ian Hruniak (Lutz, Fla.). Another walk put runners on the corners for the Nighthawks with one out.
Back-to-back singles would score two more for the Nighthawks, who now trailed 5-3 with two outs in the sixth.
Another walk would put two on and a balk moved both runners into scoring position. A single by junior Jim McGrorry (Oakhurst, N.J.) would tie the game at five.
The comeback was complete in the final inning when freshman Justin Banks (Corona, Calif.) reached on an error that would have ended the inning, scoring Walsh from third.
A 1-2-3 bottom of the inning would close the game for the Nighthawks.
Storm freshman Tanner Jansen (Malcom, Iowa) took the loss after relieving starting pitcher junior Curt Castenson (Harcourt, Iowa), who pitched 5 2/3 in his no decision.
Game Two: Newbury 10 – Simpson 4
Nighthawks junior Matthew Peluso (Woodbridge, ONT, CAN) finished the second half of the doubleheader 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, and a season-high four RBIs as the Nighthawks start the season 6-0, in a 10-4 win, sweeping the Simpson Storm on Sunday evening at the Kino Sports Complex.
Serino again finished 2-for-3 with a pair of singles for the Nighthawks, batting in two. In six games, Serino has batted 8-for-14 with five RBIs. McGrorry, Banks, and Hruniak all finished with two hits with Banks and Hruniak adding an RBI on the night.
Storm senior Jonathan Greiner (Indianola, Iowa) finished 2-for-4, while freshman Truman Schmitt (Hinton, Iowa) batted 2-for-3, including an RBI double.
The Nighthawks broke open the game with 10 runs in the middle innings of the game.
In the third, Peluso's one-out double scored a pair, giving the Nighthawks a 3-0 lead.
Peluso was at it again in the fourth, with a two-out triple, scoring Banks and Hruniak to give the Nighthawks a 7-0 lead.
Serino's fifth inning single would score two before Serino was thrown out trying to take an extra base on the play, giving the Nighthawks a 10-0 lead.
A four-run, sixth inning for the Storm was not enough to derail the strong offensive force that was Newbury in the second game of the back-to-back.
Junior Jacob Pringle (Acushnet, Mass.) pitched a complete game for the Nighthawks, moving to 2-0, allowing four runs, two earned, on eight hits, striking out a pair. Storm senior Adam Richman (Urbandale, Iowa) was pulled after 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs, two earned, on eight hits.
The Nighthawks look for their seventh straight win starting Monday as they face North Central College of Minnesota, starting at 6:00 p.m. EST.