Senior pitcher Michael Crimi came out strong, giving the Keene State baseball team a split of a Little East Conference (LEC) doubleheader against Rhode Island College. The Owls claimed the win 11-1 before falling to RIC 9-8 in 12 innings in the days game.
Every Keene State player who started had at least one hit, including a number of 3-for-4 games from John Tarascio, Connor Longley, Connor Walsh, Devin Springfield and Zach Rollins.
Walsh finished with three RBIs, while Springfield and Tom Meucci both had two runs each.
Crimi stuck out seven in seven innings, allowing four hits and one earned run to improve to 3-0.
Keene State took a 2-0 lead in the first when Nate Rossi reached on a dropped fly by RIC and moved to third on a wild pitch and a single from Longley. Walsh’s double out left-center brought Rossi home and Christian Bourgea hit a fly to center to bring Longley home as well.
RIC finally ended the shutout in the bottom of the fourth when Austin Barry walked and scored on a sacrifice fly from Mike Webb.
Longley got another run with a sacrifice fly to center in the fifth. Two more came around in the sixth due to an error from RIC and an RBI from Springfield.
The Owls scored six times in the seventh inning for an 11-1 lead. Walsh had a pair of runs and Meucci tripled home two more. Crimi retired the final 10 batters of the game, including setting RIC down in order to end the game in mercy rule.
Keene State scored six times in the either to force extra innings, but RIC got the walk-off hits in the bottom of the 12th, claiming the win. Rollins was 3-for-6 with four RBIs, while Longley, Walsh and Springfield each had two more hits.
The Owls, again, grabbed the first run of the game when Springfield walked, stole second and came around on Rollins’ single to left field. RIC went in front of the bottom of the third inning with a two-run double.
RIC added to their lead in the sixth with a RBI singles, taking the advantage off of another KSC error to make it 5-1.
Mac Struthers reached on an error to open the seventh and eventually score on a single to center field from Walsh. RIC made it 7-2 when they landed a two-run homer to right field in the bottom of the inning. RIC added another RBI single to make it 8-2.
In the top of the eighth, Springfield and Meucci singled to set Rollins up, who clubbed his first career home run over the fence in the left center for a three-run shot, bringing the game to 8-5.
Michael Webb moved from third to the mound, but began by walking Struthers, and an error allowed Rossi to reach home. Walsh stuck a single to left field to bring home Struthers and another error from RIC allowed Longley to score.
Springfield beat out an infield hit to shortstop that allowed pinch runner Sam Czel to come home, tying the score at eight.
Rollins singled and stole second to open the ninth. RIC singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Tim Coppinger got Webb to ground into a 1-6-3 double-play to send the game into extra innings.
In the 11th, Meucci drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, but Rollins flew out to right field and Struthers popped up to short to leave him stuck on second.
Coppinger, again, got Webb to fly out to center with the winning run on third, but RIC won the game in the 12th when they hit a lead-off single and scored on Nate Donovan’s double to right.
Shelby Iava can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org