Pelkey sets career win mark in Owls win over Seahawks 16-8
NEWPORT, R.I. 4/1/12 – Jeff Pelkey (Fitzwilliam, N.H.) became the school's all-time career leader in wins and Owl bats continued their torrid early season production, enabling Keene State to coast to a 16-8 non-conference baseball victory over Salve Regina University at Reynolds Field in Newport, R.I. on Saturday.
A senior, Pelkey picked up his 18th career win, moving ahead of Rick Stromgren's mark of 17 set from 2004-07. "I have to thank Coaches Ken Howe and Marty Testo for giving me the ball when I was a freshman and allowing me the opportunity to be in the rotation," said Pelkey, whose overall record stands at 18-5. "Hopefully, I can continue to improve on the record and help the team make a run at the Little East championship."
Pelkey pitched five solid innings for the Owls, giving up five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and one walk. However, none of the runs were earned. "I pitched well enough to get the job done," said Pelkey about his outing. "The guys scored some early runs which takes the pressure off."
Pelkey got plenty of offensive support from his teammates, who spayed 12 hits around Reynolds Field and took advantage of walks and Seahawk errors. Keene State (13-5), which has put 70 runs on the scoreboard since returning from Florida, extended its winning streak to six games with the victory. "We're swinging the bats well up-and-down the line-up," said KSC Coach Ken Howe. "Everyone is making a contribution."
On Sunday, KSC scored in each of the first four innings on the way to building a 12-1 lead.
The Owls got on the board with a pair of runs in the first without the benefit of a hit, as Seahawks' starter Nicholas Gaj (Pawtucket, R.I.) struggled with his control early, issuing a walk and three hit batsmen.
The Owls then erupted for 10 runs over the next three innings, including a pair of runs in the second, five in the third, and three more in the fourth. Keene State got two runs on just one hit in the second frame, capitalizing on a walk, hit-by-pitch, and an Salve Regina error to take a 4-1 lead. The Owls then rallied for five runs in the third, including a leadoff solo shot by freshman Jeff Seawards (Dover, N.H.) and a three-run inside-the-park home run by Bergstrom. The Owls' tacked on three more in the fourth to take a commanding 12-1 lead, as Bergstrom delivered the big blow with a two-run double. "I'm feeling pretty comfortable at the plate right now," said Bergstrom, who went 2-3 with a double and home run and five RBIs against Salve, improving his average to .417. "I'm trying not getting ahead of myself and just trying to make good contact. "
The Seahawks (6-13) fought back by rallying for four runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh to cut the KSC lead to 12-7. However, the Owls answered with three runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to thwart the Salve Regina comeback. Freshman Eric Hewitt (Rockfall, Conn.) delivered the big hit in the eighth, crushing a long three-run homer, the first of his career, to left, while sophomore Ray Carmel (Waterford, N.Y.) drove home fellow sophomore Andrew Gummow (Brookline, Mass.) with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.
Junior Greg Bates (Salem, N.H.) also had a nice day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Sophomores Pat Tempone (Francestown, N.H.) and Shawn Egan (East Hartford, Conn.) followed Pelkey to the mound. Each tossed scoreless innings of relief for the Owls.
The Owls will return to action on Tuesday, hosting Amherst at 3:30 p.m.
(Portions courtesy of Salve Regina Sports Information)