KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College baseball team got a first career home run from Michael Montembeault and went on to erase two different deficits in a 7-4 win over New England College on Tuesday afternoon at Owl Athletic Complex.
- Keene State: 8-16
- New England College: 18-11
How It Happened
Keene State snapped a four-game slide with a four-run bottom of the eighth inning that turned a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 lead. Montembeault finished 1-for-4 at the plate, but drove in three key runs and scored two others. Tom Meucci was 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs that extended the advantage in the eighth inning. Connor Walsh (2-3, R) and Tyler Gammie (2-3, RBI, 2 R, BB) also provided KSC with multi-hit efforts. NEC got a pair of doubles and an RBI from Joe Maestu.
The Pilgrims went in front right away, as Christian Aybar led the game off with a double and later scored after the throw on a double steal by he and Luis Atiles got away. Jeam Castillo's single to right plated Atiles for a 2-0 first inning lead. The Owls settled down after that, holding NEC right there until the fourth inning, but had a hard time solving Dylan Champagne on the hill, who struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced. KSC got a run back with two outs in the third after Meucci doubled and was plated by Mac Struthers' base hit to right. The visitors quickly restored the lead in the very next half inning, as Bobby Fulkerson and Maestu notched consecutive two-baggers, but the Owls tied the game at three in the bottom of the fourth after Montembeault's two run blast to right scored Gammie. It stayed that way for a while, as Owls reliever Brian Vieira tossed three scoreless innings, allowing just one baserunner, and Champagne did the same, not allowing a man past first over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
New England College again took the lead in the top of the eighth, as Atiles walked and stole second to begin the inning. He moved to third on a fly out to center, but had to stay there after Bobby Baril got a weak grounder to first for the second out, keeping the game tied. However, Jose Guillermo delivered the go-ahead run with a two-out line drive single to left. Trailing 4-3, Keene State did not waste much time erasing the deficit in the bottom half of the inning. Walsh represented the tying run after kickstarting the frame with a double, and he later scored following consecutive singles from John Tarascio and Gammie. David Sevigny was then hit by a pitch to fill the bases, and Montembeault's grounder up the middle resulted in just one out and provided the Owls a 5-4 lead. A two-out, two-run single from Meucci gave the Owls a three-run cushion. Closer Connor Johnson worked around a two-out walk to Xavier Nunez to record his fifth save, moving into a tie for fourth on the KSC list for saves in a single season.
Jake Morris (2-2) struck out the only batter he faced in the eighth and wound up getting the win. Matt White fell to 0-1 after allowing three runs while not recording an out in relief of Champagne, who went the first 7 1/3 innings.
Around the Horn
- Meucci raised his batting average to .311 on the season after recording his eighth multi-hit game. He has 14 RBI in 2019.
- Montembeault becomes the fifth different Owl to hit a home run this season.
- Keene State is 13-5 all-time against NEC and has won the last ten meetings in a row.
- Keene State is scheduled to host Roger Williams University on Thursday, April 18 at 3:30 pm.
- New England College heads to Western New England University tomorrow, April 17, for a 3:30 pm start.