The Keene State College baseball team went winless in its opening week in New England.

The Owls lost a pair of contests on the road, falling to Babson College and Johnson and Wales University. In both contests, the Owls could not preserve the lead late in the game.

On March 24, against Babson, KSC junior and starting pitcher Michael Crimi had a no hitter through 6.2 innings. Crimi allowed a base hit to the Babson nine hitter and then departed the game with his pitch count over 110 pitches.

After Crimi, who finished the game with nine strikeouts and walked five, Keene State’s bullpen could not secure the 4-0 lead and get the final out of the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Owls allowed seven unearned runs because of three errors in the inning and also allowed three hits after Crimi left the ballgame. Keene State used three relievers in the inning. Senior Eddie Dionne was able to record the final out of the inning as he retired the fourth man he faced.

The Owls got solid contributions at the plate from senior Billy Hartmann who hit a solo home run to put Keene State up 1-0 in the top of the third inning. First-year Devin Springfield went 2 for 5 and sophomore Kolby Reggione had one hit to drive in a run.

On Saturday, March 26, Keene State fell to Johnson and Wales 3-2. KSC got another strong starting pitching performance, this time from senior Cody Dube. He went seven strong innings and allowed one run on five hits, walked one and struck out 10.

File Photo / Tim Smith

File Photo / Tim Smith

The Owls bats did not come to life until later in the ballgame and Keene State allowed a single run in the bottom of the third inning when Mitch D’Amato drove in Ryan Cabral with an RBI single after Cabral doubled.

The score remained that way until the top of the sixth inning. Hartmann singled and then stole second base to open up the frame. With one out in the inning Springfield singled Hartmann to third. Springfield then stole second base to put runners on first and third.

That set the stage for first-year Connor Longley’s two run double to the left centerfield gap to give the Owls a 2-1 lead. Longley finished with two hits on the afternoon.

The score remained a one run Owls advantage until the eighth inning. Senior Alan Schiff allowed the first two men to reach base. The Owls then turned to the bullpen and senior Keith Simpson made a throwing error to make it a 2-2 game. Then a sacrifice fly off the bat of Chris Baldwin gave Johnson and Wales 3-2 lead.

Keene State went down in order in the ninth as pinch hitter junior Trevor Chapin struck out to end the ballgame.

As of March 28, the Owls had a 7-7 record and a three game losing streak.

Keene State is back in action on March 31, at 3:30 p.m. against Framingham State University at New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Massachusetts.

Brian Clemmenson can be contacted at bclemmenson@kscequinox.com

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