Nighthawks Rally Falls Short; Lose 8-6 at Eastern Nazarene

Photo Credit: Dylan Foran
Photo Credit: Dylan Foran

QUINCY, Mass. - A bases-clearing triple by freshman Steven Pesce (Harrison, N.Y.) in the second contributed to a five-run inning and a 3-for-5 day at the plate as the Eastern Nazarene Lions defeated the Newbury Nighthawks 8-6 on Tuesday afternoon at Adams Field.

Pesce finished with a career-high four RBIs to go with his fourth triple this season. Sophomore Andrew Santora (Middle Village, N.Y.) batted 2-for-4 with an RBI double. 

Nighthawks junior Matthew Peluso (Woodbridge, ONT, CAN) finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Sophomore David Center (Medford, Mass.), junior Jim McGrorry (Oakhurst, N.J.), and senior Billy Stephen (Windermere, Fla.) all finished 2-for-5. McGrorry added two RBIs.

After the Lions secured a 2-1 lead following a Nighthawks error in the second, the Lions loaded the bases with one out. Pesce drilled a shot to center, clearing the bases with a three-RBI triple, putting the Lions ahead 5-1. The next batter, Santora doubled to right center, scoring Pesce for a 6-1 lead.

Trailing 7-1 in the seventh, the Nighthawks cut into the deficit, starting with runners on the corners with one out. An RBI groundout by Peluso followed by back-to-back RBI singles by McGrorry and senior Ian Hruniak (Lutz, Fla.) contributed to a three-run inning that put the Nighthawks behind 7-4.

The Lions added one in the seventh on a two-out, RBI single to center by freshman Joshua Bombard (Rutland, Mass.)

The Nighthawks made it interesting in the ninth, scoring two runs thanks to an RBI single by McGrorry and an RBI groundout by Hruniak, cutting the deficit to 8-6 with the tying run on first and two outs. Nighthawks junior Mitchell Walsh (Westport, Mass.) struck out in the next at-bat.

The Nighthawks were in front quickly on a Peluso single down the right field line, scoring Center for a 1-0 lead.

The Lions responded in their half of the first on a Pesce single to center field, tying the game at 1-1. 

Nighthawks freshman John Camerota (Belchertown, Mass.) took the loss after allowing six runs, five earned on seven hits; he falls to 2-2. Lions senior Cameron Fiorentino (Uxbridge, Mass.) pitched seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits; he improves to 2-1.

The loss drops the Nighthawks to 16-13 (5-7 NECC) and ends their three-game winning streak against non-conference opponents. The victory lifts the Lions to 7-13 (1-7 CCC).

It's back to conference play for the Nighthawks as they welcome Daniel Webster College on Friday for the first game of a three-game series at the New England Baseball Complex at 3:30 p.m. The doubleheader will then take place at Daniel Webster on Saturday starting at 12:00 p.m.