Nighthawks Baseball Shines On Sophomore Day

The National Park College (NPC) Nighthawk baseball team (23-24-1) punched its ticket to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region II Tournament Sunday, defeating Arkansas State University Mid-South (ASU Mid-South), 7-2, on Sophomore Day.

Before the game, National Park College honored 16 sophomores—Carter Gaston (Homer, Louisiana), David Favrot (Shreveport, Louisiana), Eli Hutcherson (Cabot), Emerson Lott (North Richland Hills, Texas), Evan Grissom (Mount Pleasant, Texas), Hunter Guill (Bentonville), Ian Holm (Lafayette, Louisiana), Jacob Claborn (Muldrow, Oklahoma), Jaiden Ryals (Cabot), Jimbo Batchelor (Senoia, Georgia), Mason Dougan (El Dorado), Mason Pankey (Jonesboro), Pedro Martinez (Cleburne, Texas), Reynaldo Rivera (Brownville, Texas), Slayter Watkins (Huntsville) and Spencer Sensley (Farmerville, Louisiana—for their outstanding contributions to Nighthawk Athletics.

Dominant pitching and defense helped NPC turn the tide late in a back-and-forth ballgame. After falling behind, 1-0, in the top of the first inning, NPC answered with an RBI single from freshman third baseman Wesley Campbell (Fountain Lake) to tie the game. ASU Mid-South regained the lead with a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Campbell struck again, knocking in two runs on a single to center field. NPC would not trail again. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Nighthawks added an RBI sacrifice fly from freshman second baseman Josh Wacaser (Bentonville). NPC padded the lead with three additional runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI sacrifice fly from Martinez and a two-run double from Pankey as the Nighthawks clinched their first postseason berth since 2022.

Freshman hurler Arthur Perez (Houston, Texas) picked up his fourth win of the season, allowing two runs on three hits over seven innings, striking out four. Freshman pitcher Bryan Raitz (Coppell, Texas) struck out four batters in two innings of relief to pick up the save. Campbell led the Nighthawks at the plate, finishing three-for-five with three RBI in the win.

NPC will face Western Oklahoma State College in the opening round of the NJCAA Region II Tournament, Thursday, May 9 at 1 p.m. in Enid, Oklahoma. The tournament will be streamed online by TSBN Sports.

For more information on schedules, rosters and more, visit Nighthawk Athletics online. Fans can also follow the Nighthawks all season on social media.

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