KEENE, N.H. - UMass Dartmouth scored three late runs to pull out a 4-1 win in the opener of a doubleheader and kept on rolling in the second game, winning 11-1 in seven innings, to hand the Keene State College baseball team a pair of losses in Little East action Sunday afternoon at Owl Athletic Complex.
- Keene State: 9-21, 3-10 LEC
- UMass Dartmouth: 16-17, 7-6 LEC
How It Happened - Game One
The day got off to a good start for the Owls, as they picked up a run in the opening inning, but UMass Dartmouth tied the game in the fourth and went ahead late, eventually posting a 4-1 victory behind seven innings from Matt Cronin and two from Nate Tellier. Keene State had six hits in the contest, two each including a double from Connor Longley and John Tarascio, with Longley also driving in the lone run in the opening inning on a single to center. Mac Struthers and Tyler Gammie each singled and walked, but the Owls stranded 10 in the game.
Keene State led 1-0 through three innings, as starter Brandon Heath struck out three while allowing just one hit, but he ran into trouble after whiffing Mike Knell to start the fourth, as Tellier and Jack Harrington each singled to put runners on first and third. That marked the first time UMD advanced a runner into scoring position, and it resulted in a 1-1 tie after the very next batter, Pat Vartanian, lofted a sac fly to left. It stayed that way until the seventh when the Corsairs scored a pair to go ahead 3-1. That rally came after KSC was unable to cash in on Longley's leadoff double in the sixth, as Cronin wound up striking out three to work around that hit and a walk to Gammie. In the top of the seventh with Heath still on the mound, Nate Stewart bounced a single up the middle to start the inning and was advanced to second on Mitch Baker's sacrifice. Tucker Hetherman followed with a double to center for a 2-1 UMD edge, and the very next batter, JR DiSarcina, singled to right to provide the visitors insurance. Trailing 3-1, the Owls got a two-out single from Struthers in the seventh and put a pair of runners on in the eighth, but could not make any dent in the deficit, and UMD tacked on one more run without the benefit of a hit in the ninth before Tellier sent Keene State down in order in their half of the inning.
Heath (1-5) pitched the first 6 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and three runs while striking out five. Cronin improved to 3-3, allowing five hits and one run. He walked four and struck out 10.
How It Happened - Game Two
The second game was all UMass Dartmouth right from the start, as the visitors put up three runs in the first, tacked on three more in the third and four in the fourth to run away with the sweep. The Owls managed just four hits in the nightcap from four different people. David Sevigny went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, while Tarascio and Gammie also went 1-for-3. Tom Meucci was 1-for-2 with a walk. Knell hit two home runs and a double for the Corsairs, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBI. Tellier had four hits in four at bats, and Vartanian drove in three.
The first inning started innocently enough, as a pair of UMD fly outs started the game, but the next four reached, including an RBI single from Tellier and an RBI double from Vartanian. Sandwiched in between was a run-scoring error that would have ended the inning. Trailing 3-0 right out of the gates, the Owls struggled against Tucker Hetherman (4-1), who went the distance. Meucci kicked off the bottom of the first with a single to right, but he could advance no further, and Keene State's next hit did not come until the fifth inning. Knell went deep in consecutive innings to two different parts of the field, as his solo shot in the third made it 4-0, and his two-run blast to right in the next inning made it 8-0. The Owls put the first two on in the fifth after Gammie's aforementioned base hit and a walk from Ryan Linehan, but a strikeout and a double play quickly ended the threat, and Hetherman remained in complete control, not allowing a run until Sevigny's double scored Linehan with two outs in the seventh.
Hetherman allowed one run on four hits while walking three and striking out five in seven innings. Greg Poggioli (1-4) started for the Owls and took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) in 2/3 of an inning. Jake Morris struck out six in four relief innings.
Around the Horn
- Tarascio has a hit in 10 consecutive games and is now hitting .326 on the season.
- KSC is 30-22 all-time vs. UMass Dartmouth, but has dropped the last three meetings.
- Keene State was eliminated from conference tournament contention with the losses.
- The Owls wrap up their home-and-home season series with Plymouth State University on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:30 pm in Plymouth.
- UMass Dartmouth hosts UMass Boston, who has won seven straight games, on the same day and time.