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Nighthawk Sluggers Edged By Barlow, Aim To Rebound In State Tournament



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Despite being no-hit — and in fact held without a base runner — for five innings, the No. 4 Newtown High School’s baseball team still managed to put up a fight and get the potential tying runner on base in the last of the seventh inning. When all was said and done, the No. 5 Joel Barlow Falcons escaped with a 3-1 South-West Conference Tournament quarterfinal victory, taking down the defending champions on May 21. This was a rare Sunday afternoon game due to rain pushing things back the day before.

Newtown fell behind 3-0 as the Falcons scored twice in the third and once in the fourth. In the bottom of the sixth, Evan Nikolis reached on an error, stole second, and reached third on a balk before Dhilan Amin drove him in on a well-placed bunt single — Newtown’s first hit of the contest. Amin was caught stealing to end the inning, but the Nighthawks kept battling in their final at bat.

Danny Leyva reached on a one-out error and Jamie Piccuillo hit a clean two-out single through the first base hole to give the Nighthawks a chance, but a ground out ended it.

Will Burns pitched six strong innings, striking out six batters, and walking four to keep things close against counterpart Ian Nilsen.

“They got a couple timely hits — two-out hits,” Newtown Coach Ian Thoesen said. “I’m proud of them. We just came up a little short this time.”

Thoesen said he spoke to players after the game about the opportunity to rebound in the upcoming state playoffs.

“We’re going to make a run the state tournament — I know we will. We’ve got a resilient group of guys,” Thoesen said.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Will Burns delivers a pitch during Newtown’s 3-1 loss to visiting Joel Barlow in the SWC tourney quarterfinals on May 21. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Josh Rosen gets set to take a swing.
Evan Nikolas takes his lead off first base.
Finn Geissler throws a pitch for the Nighthawks.
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