HARTFORD — The Vermont Mountaineers salvaged a doubleheader split Wednesday by winning the nightcap, 5-3, against the Upper Valley Nighthawks at Maxfield Sports Complex.
The hosts won the first game, 10-6, in a New England Collegiate Baseball League slugfest. The Nighthawks clinched the season series against their in-state rival and won the Governor’s Cup for the third time in five years.
Upper Valley grabbed an early 6-0 lead after scoring three runs in the first inning and three in the second.
Alan Roden grounded out to drive Andrew Walker from third base for opening run. Gehrig Anglin doubled to right field, allowing Max Viera to cross home plate. Anglin scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
Upper Valley sent seven batters to the plate in the second frame. Walker ripped a two-run triple to drive Kevin Pitarra and Brett Callahan. Viera followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in Walker.
Vermont closed the gap to 6-2 in the third inning, as Tommy Courtney and Keagan Calero both reached base to give their team a spark. Evan Giordano advanced to first on an error, which also allowed Courtney to score from third. Matt Oldham followed with an one-run single.
The Mountaineers closed the gap to 7-4 in the top of the sixth inning, only to watch Upper Valley answer with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Craig Larsen led off the fourth with a double and scored on a single by Courtney. The Nighthawks responded with a sacrifice fly by Roden.
Vermont mounted an admirable comeback attempt in the seventh inning, scoring a pair of runs before the Nighthawks closed out the victory. Upper Valley outhit Vermont 10-6, led by two hits apiece by Walker, Roden and Luca Trigiani. Roden had a one-run triple and Trigiani added a one-run double. Larsen went 3-for-3 for Vermont with a double and three RBI.
During Game 2, it was the Mountaineers’ turn to score first. They sent nine batters to the plate in the opening frame and scored five runs. After a leadoff single by Courtney and a walk to Calero, Girodano followed with an one-run double to plate Courtney. The next batter, Oldham, smacked a two-run single to right field. Jack Frank’s base hit drove in Retzbach.
Upper Valley scored one run in the bottom of the first inning when a single by Kyle Novak drove in Parker Haskin, who doubled to start the frame. The Nighthawks closed the gap to 5-2 in the second inning when Trigiani crossed home on a sacrifice fly by Raphael Pelletier. Roden singled in the third inning to plate Novak, making it 5-3.
Vermont’s Ryan Steckline earned the win in relief. He have up zero hits, issues no walks and struck out four batters during two-plus innings.
Jordy Allard took the loss after four innings of work. He gave up eight hits, issued three walks and recorded two strikeouts. Vermont’s Cole Roland notched his third save of the season after pitching a scoreless seventh.
The Mountaineers will travel to play the North Shore Navigator at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.