NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The National Park College (NPC) Nighthawks baseball team (1-1) split its season debut with Central Baptist College’s junior varsity team (CBC) at Burns Park in North Little Rock on Monday, dropping a 9-6 decision in game one and picking up a 5-0 win in game two.
After taking a 6-0 lead in the second inning of game one, the Nighthawks appeared on their way to a lopsided victory. The Mustangs responded in the bottom of the frame, however, knocking in five runs and cutting the deficit to 6-5. CBC took the lead in the fifth inning, scoring three runs and adding an insurance run in the sixth inning to boost the lead to three. Unable to respond in the top of the seventh inning, the Nighthawks were unable to turn the tide in their season opener.
Sophomore left fielder Jacori Hicks (Baton Rouge, LA) went 2-2 with two doubles an RBI in the loss for the Nighthawks. Sophomore pitcher Payton Windham (Maud, TX) got the start for NPC, allowing two hits and four runs with five strikeouts over two innings. Freshmen relievers Eli Hutcherson (Cabot), Bryce Blackwell (Texarkana, TX) and Ayden Heard (Homer, LA) each contributed in the loss.
NPC rebounded in game two, setting the pace early with second-inning home runs from sophomore Cade McBride (Nashville) and freshman Jesus Minjarez (Hot Springs) en route to a 3-0 lead. The Nighthawks added two runs in the third inning to extend the lead to 5-0 and relied on its defense and pitching to secure the team’s first victory of the season.
McBride and Minjarez homered for NPC, while freshman left fielder Evan Shoffit (Farmington) batted 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Freshman right fielder Demias Jimerson (Malvern) went 2-4 with one run scored in the win.
Freshman pitcher Zach Murphy (Sydney, Australia) started the game for NPC. The lefty surrendered zero runs on one hit over six-and-one-third innings, striking out five, in the win. Freshman reliever Myles Anderson (League City, TX) recorded the final two outs in the seventh inning to seal the shutout victory.
The Nighthawks travel to Eunice, LA this weekend to take on top-ranked LSU-Eunice. The Nighthawks face the Bengals on Friday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m.
From NPC Nighthawks Communications