Baseball Claws Past Nighthawks To Capture Series Finale

Evan Barrera (pictured) drove in the winning run with a sac fly in the top of the ninth. Barrera tied the game with a solo home run in the eighth.
Evan Barrera (pictured) drove in the winning run with a sac fly in the top of the ninth. Barrera tied the game with a solo home run in the eighth.

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. - With the game tied at 5-5 in the top of the ninth, Hawks sophomore Evan Barrera (West Warwick, R.I.) flew out to right on a sacrifice fly, scoring Josiah Shepherd (Providence, R.I.) from third as the game-winning run in the Becker's 6-5 win over the Newbury Sunday night at the New England Baseball Complex.

Barrera finished 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Junior Chris Testa (Providence, R.I.) and sophomore Tanyon Ventres (Holden, Mass.) both batted 2-for-3. All nine starters for the Hawks finished with at least one hit.

Nighthawks junior Matthew Sobray (Santa Clarita, Calif.) batted 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Senior Billy Stephen (Windermere, Fla.) finished 3-for-5, all singles with one RBI and a run scored. Senior Ian Hruniak (Lutz, Fla.) batted 2-for-3.

In the game-deciding ninth inning, the Hawks first three batters reached safely via walks. Two batters later, Barrera lifted a ball to right field and Shepherd prepared to test the arm of Sobray, who has 10 assists from the outfield this season.

The fly ball was just deep enough as the throw was cut off, allowing Shepherd to score for a 6-5 lead.

An inning earlier, the Hawks trailed 5-4 but a solo home run to left-center field by Barrera tied the game at 5-5.

Becker was in control early, leading 4-1 going to the bottom of the fourth. A two-run home run by senior T.J. Sempkowski (Oceanport, N.J.) contributed to the early Hawks advantage.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Nighthawks loaded the bases with one out. Back-to-back singles by Sobray and sophomore David Center (Medford, Mass.) plated two runs, putting the Nighthawks behind 4-3. 

A bases-loaded double play ended the threat in the fourth inning for the Nighthawks.

A Sobray home run, his second of the season, in the sixth, tied the game at 4-4.

The Nighthawks took their first lead in the seventh on an RBI single by senior Brian Rhone (North Haven, Conn.) that scored Stephen for a 5-4 lead.

Hawks senior Tyler Wagar (Uxbridge, Mass.) pitched 8 1/3 innings, taking credit for the win while allowing five runs, three earned on 12 hits and nine strikeouts. He improves to 4-2 with the victory. Michael Iacovelli (Northbridge, Mass.) got the final two outs in the ninth to record his first collegiate save.

Stephen takes the loss for the Nighthawks, coming in for relief in 1 1/3 innings of work. Stephen gave up one run and one hit. The loss is Stephen's first of the season; he's now 1-1.

The victory moves the Hawks to 16-15 (9-5 NECC) while the loss drops the Nighthawks to 18-17-1 (7-11 NECC).