SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Keene State College baseball team scored four in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but the comeback stalled there as the Owls fell 7-6 to Western New England University on Wednesday afternoon at Trelease Park.
- Keene State: 12-11
- Western New England: 20-7
How It Happened
Nate Rossi went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs batted in, a walk and a run scored to lead KSC's offense. Tom Meucci was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while Devin Springfield reached base twice on a single and a walk. He also drove in a run, scored twice and stole a base. Western New England got a multiple-hit day and two RBIs from Ben LaCroix. Aaron Rios had a three-run double and a walk.
The Golden Bears struck in the first off KSC starter Jake Morris (0-2). Jamie Schofield worked a leadoff walk and stole second with one out. He eventually scored on LaCroix's two-out RBI knock to right field as WNE took a 1-0 lead after one. The Owls mounted a similar rally in the third to tie the game. Springfield took ball four to start the frame and then stole second before moving up to third on Rossi's grounder to second. After Connor Longley walked, Connor Walsh then evened the game at one with a sacrifice fly to left. KSC threatened for more, putting runners on second and third after a third free pass in the inning and a balk, but a fly ball left them stranded and the game tied.
Western New England responded with a two-out rally that resulted in a five-spot in the very next frame. The inning started innocently enough, with a foul out and a ground out sandwiching a single from Alex Loparco. However, a two-out double from LaCroix gave WNE the lead and opened the flood gates, as the next five Golden Bears reached base. Jared Rosenblatt was hit by a pitch and Joe Cassella worked a walk to load the bases before Rios cleared them with a double to right that made it 5-1. After another hit batter, Trevor Gustavson singled to right for WNE's fifth run of the inning and a 6-1 lead. The Golden Bears tacked on another in the fourth, taking advantage of two walks and a hit by pitch with a sac fly by Cassella.
The scoring slowed from there, as the only run scored over the next four full innings was in the sixth, when Meucci drove home David Sevigny with a two-out double to left that cut KSC's deficit to 7-2.
It was still that same score when KSC mounted a big threat in the ninth. Mac Struthers started things off with a walk and moved to second on Tyler Gammie's pinch-hit single to center. Springfield followed with another base hit that drove home Struthers and moved Gammie to third, making it 7-3. After a pitching change, Rossi followed with a two-run double to center that made it a two-run game and brought the tying run to the plate with nobody out. A bouncer to first from Longley moved Rossi to third and, with one out, he came home on a passed ball that brought the Owls within 7-6. However, the offense stalled from there, as a strikeout and foul out ended KSC's comeback bid.
Morris lasted the first 2.2 innings on the mound for Keene State, striking out three. Bobby Baril and Michael McDermott combined for the next 5.1 innings out of the bullpen, allowing just one run. Western New England used seven pitchers, with Conor Scully (2-0) picking up the win in relief of starter Clay Tucker. Jeff Zebrowski earned his second save of the season.
Around the Horn
- Rossi now has a six-game hitting streak, having recorded three doubles and six RBIs during that span.
- Springfield has eight hits over the last four games and has nine multiple-hit games on the season. He is hitting .345 with a team-best on base percentage of .457.
- Western New England was receiving votes in the most recent d3baseball.com Top 25 poll.
- Keene State will travel to New England College for a single game that starts at 3:30 pm on Friday, April 20. That contest kicks off a stretch where the Owls are scheduled to play 11 games in eight days between then and April 28.
- Western New England will remain home and host UMass Dartmouth, another Little East foe, tomorrow (April 19) at 3:30 pm.