The North Branch Nighthawks were beaten 9-5 by the Rum River Bandits in Cambridge July 12. The Nighthawks jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but saw that advantage turn into an 8-3 deficit after three frames. 2017 North Branch High School grad Ryan Byrkit led the team with a pair of RBIs on two hits. Jim Skroch also claimed a pair of RBIs, while his son Jimmy Skroch knocked in one.
Tony Dahlberg collected a double and two RBIs in a second matchup against the Bandits July 14. The Nighthawks reversed a three-run, ninth inning deficit to send the game to extra frames, but the Bandits scored in the bottom of the 10th to win 7-6. Nick Pilz, Charlie Linder and Casey Schwalbe each knocked in a run.
The Nighthawks (9-5) still added a tally to their win column, after the Pine City Pirates announced they will forfeit a matchup that was scheduled to be played in North Branch on July 22. The Nighthawks will instead close out their regular season run against the East Bethel Bandits at 7:30 p.m. July 21. That game will be played at St. Francis High School.
The Nighthawks currently stand third of six in the Eastern Minny League, West division rankings. League playoffs will commence July 25.