ROCHFORD, Conn. - In a game that featured 36 players, 74 official at-bats and nine different pitchers, the Newbury Nighthawks and Albertus Magnus Falcons called an end to their Wednesday night contest after nine innings, finishing tied 10-10 at Rochford Field.
It's the first tie in program history for both teams following the 3 hour and 45 minute game. Other marks from this game include seven total errors, 21 total strikeouts, and 13 players with at least one hit.
Falcons freshman Christian Bradley (Stratford, Conn.) batted 2-for-4 including a triple and a game-high five RBIs. Sophomore Mike Browne (New Fairfield, Conn.) batted 3-for-3 with a double and a RBI. Browne was the only player to finish with a hit in all their at-bats.
Nighthawks junior Jim McGrorry (Oakhurst, N.J.) batted 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Junior Matthew Sobray (Santa Clarita, Calif.) batted 2-for-6 with a double, finishing one at-bat shy of tying a program record. Junior Billy Stephen (Windermere, Fla.) finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
With the Falcons firmly in control at 10-4 going into the top of the seventh, the Nighthawks started a rally to give themselves a chance at a comeback.
With one out and sophomore David Center (Medford, Mass.) on second, McGrorry singled up the middle, scoring Center, bringing the Nighthawks within five at 10-5.
Following a walk, Stephen doubled to center field, plating McGrorry from second. An error in the next at-bat scored Mitchell Walsh (Westport, Mass.) cutting the deficit to 10-7.
In the eighth, the Nighthawks loaded the bases with one out. Walsh singled to left, scoring Center and getting the Nighthawks to within two, 10-8.
A passed ball in the next at-bat scored Christopher Tran (Nantucket, Mass.) and Stephen followed that with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring McGrorry and completing the comeback to tie the game 10-10.
The Falcons, who led 2-1 after two, blew the game open in the third, taking advantage of a bases-loaded situation with one out.
The Nighthawks had a chance to cut down the runner at home, but an error by the catcher left all runners safe and the Falcons leading 3-1. A hit batter and walk plated two more for a 5-1 lead.
A sacrifice fly to center field scored Adam Olszyk (Hamden, Conn.) for a 6-1 edge. Following a single to load the bases, another walk would put the Falcons fifth run of the inning on the board for a 7-1 lead. In all, the Falcons sent 11 batters to the plate in the third.
Nighthawks senior Tim Brown (Orange, Conn.) and Stephen pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing no runs and no hits while combining for six strikeouts and retiring the last 10 batters consecutively.
Falcons senior Jon Crisco (East Haven, Conn.) held the Nighthawks to one hit in the final 1 2/3 innings, relieving Tom Moore (East Haven, Conn.) who allowed the game-tying runs.
The Nighthawks now sit at 17-15-1 following the Wednesday night tie, while the Falcons are now 8-16-1.
The Nighthawks begin a three-game series over the weekend against Becker College, starting with a doubleheader at Becker on Saturday starting at noon, followed by a single game on Sunday as the Nighthawks celebrate Senior Day at 6:00 p.m. at the New England Baseball Complex.
It's the final conference games of the season for the Nighthawks.
With a number of make-up games in the New England Collegiate Conference to be played over the next 10 days among other NECC schools, there's no telling what the effect of the three-game weekend series will have on the Nighthawks playoff chances.