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NHS Baseball Splits With Brookfield- 13-Run Performances (One Not So Lucky) For Hard-Hitting Nighthawks



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NHS Baseball Splits With Brookfield—

 13-Run Performances (One Not So Lucky) For Hard-Hitting Nighthawks

By Andy Hutchison

The Newtown High School baseball team proved in a pair of games against Brookfield this past week that 13 runs is not always enough to win, but that the Nighthawks are resilient and should never be counted out of a game.

On April 24, the Nighthawks made six errors and allowed six unearned runs, fell behind 13-0 but clawed almost all the way back before falling short 14-13 in a wild, never-say-die game against visiting Brookfield.

After a weekend of thinking about how that game could have been won, the Nighthawks redeemed themselves with another 13-run performance, a 13-7 win at Brookfield as the South-West Conference rivals completed a pair of football score-like battles.

“It was nice to see the kids come out and put Friday behind them and realize Monday was a new day,” Newtown Coach Carl Strait said. “They did a real nice job concentrating on every at bat and every pitch.”

In the second game, the Nighthawks committed just one error — the biggest difference in those outcomes.

In the Friday game, Newtown trailed 13-0, but got to within 13-9 behind the efforts of a bat-around eight-run sixth inning. Brookfield tacked on what turned out to be a necessary insurance run in the seventh. NHS, down 14-9 in the bottom of the seventh, climbed to within a run and had the potential tying run at third base with no outs but could not complete the comeback.

Credit the Nighthawks for making what appeared to be a easy Brookfield win a very interesting contest down to the final pitch, which ended in dramatic fashion on a strikeout pitch that hit the dirt. The game wasn’t over until Brookfield catcher Brendan Slattery tracked down the ball and threw to first.

Newtown clawed back in the seventh when Anthony Lucia and Ricky Gallucci reached with back-to-back singles. Charlie Lobosco then connected with a three-run home run to make the score 14-12 (still with no out).

The Newtown bench came to life and the players could taste victory.

“Everyone was getting pumped up,” Lobosco said.

Dan Milot walked and pinch runner Keith McGrath scored on Jake DeVellis’s RBI double; DeVellis went to third base on the throw home but Newtown could not push that tying run across.

Lobosco had four RBIs and Kromberg knocked in two runs in this wild game.

“We threw ourselves in a big hole because we didn’t come out early and play from the first pitch. We dug ourselves into that hole,” Strait said.

Newtown has lost three games by just one run.

“It’s frustrating but it’s good because we know we can beat these teams,” Lobosco said.

Strait, though, would like to see his team avoid getting into such tight games to begin with.

“We put ourselves into tight games because we play to the level of the competition rather than going out and playing how we play baseball,” the coach said.

“Later in the year we’re not going to lose these games. They’re not going to slip away like this,” Lobosco added.

On Monday, the Nighthawks held a three-run edge in the seventh and plated four insurance runs to bolster their chances — although after what happened in the previous game nobody was counting their chickens before they hatched.

With two outs, McGrath doubled and Kromberg homered for an 11-6 advantage. Ryan Tita doubled to add to the lead. Tita went 4-for-5 with four RBI. Gallucci was 2-for-3, Lobosco was 2-for-3, Kromberg had two hits and Lucia had three hits and a pair of runs batted in.

Joe Fedak pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Fedak allowed three hits and benefited from a pair of double plays turned by his defense.

Newtown returned to action on Tuesday against Bethel but the game was halted due to an injury to Kromberg (see related story).

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