Story written and posted by Anthony Perry, Rivier University Sports Information Director
(Nashua, N.H.) On an afternoon where the Rivier University Baseball team donned their Navy Blue uniform tops in honor of Autism Awareness Day, it was the visiting Newbury College Nighthawks who hung on for the 3-2 non-conference win at Harvey Woods Field. The loss drops the Raiders to 5-16 overall while the victory lifts Newbury to 3-12 on the season.
The baseball team chose to celebrate Autism Awareness Day this afternoon in large part to their third year assistant coach Mauro Da Silva. Da Silva is a 2016 graduate of Rivier University who played all four years on the baseball team and earned his degree in Biology. You can learn more about Da Silva's story in an article published in the Nashua Telegraph back in 2016 (http://www.rivierathletics.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/releases/20160502ja55my).
Back to the game…
Newbury broke the scoreless tie in the third inning as senior David Center (Medford, Mass.) singled home junior Christopher Tran (Nantucket, Mass.) for the early 1-0 advantage.
The Raiders would tie the game in the fifth inning as sophomore Dillon Brady (Middleboro, Mass.) reached on an error, stole two bases and scored on classmate's Frederick Kazalski (Dracut, Mass.) bunt single.
The Nighthawks answered right back with back-to-back sacrifice flies by junior Brett Cabral (Plymouth, Mass.) and sophomore Chris Paulino (Wilton, Conn.) in the top half of the sixth inning.
Rivier plated a run in the home half of the seventh. Senior Brandon Thibault (Methuen, Mass.) led off by reaching on an error and then proceeded to steal both second and third before classmate Jorge Martinez (Methuen, Mass.) slapped a single through the left side to make a 3-2 ballgame.
In the home half of the ninth inning, the Raiders were able to load the bases with two outs but Newbury senior Mark Travers (Norwood, Mass.) was able to strikeout the final batter and preserve the one-run lead for his second save of the season.
Sophomore Dan White (Augusta, Maine) suffered the loss (0-3) for the Raiders as he tossed 5.2 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out three. Fellow sophomore Cam Way (El Cajon, Calif.) then finished off the rest of the contest with 3.1 scoreless innings giving up just two hits while striking out two and issuing one intentional walk.
Freshman left-hander Joe Persechino (Torrington, Conn.) earned the win (2-2) as he pitched six innings surrendering just one unearned run on five hits and striking out three. Sophomore Ronald Zabala (Peabody, Mass.) bridged the gap to Travers with 2.1 innings allowing one unearned run with four strikeouts.
Thibault and junior Eric Maxfield (Lowell, Mass.) each finished with two-hits for the Raiders while Kazalski and Martinez recorded the two RBIs.
Cabral, Zabala and junior Dante Serino (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) all had multi-hit games for the Nighthawks.
Both teams will face off once again on Thursday afternoon as the Raiders make the trip out to the New England Baseball Complex for a 3pm game at the home site for Newbury.