The Keene State College Baseball team split its season opening double header against William Paterson University on March 6, in Wayne, New Jersey.
Keene State fell in the first game 2-1 as the Pionners’ Anthony Hoagland’s walk off single drove in the winning run in the seventh inning with two outs. Hoagland drove in both WPU runs in the first game as he drove in the Pionners’ first run in the first inning.
Keene State struck first however, in the first game of the double header as they manufactured a run. Senior Joe Libby led off the game with a single. One batter later he swiped second base to get into scoring position. He eventually advanced to third on a one out single. Sophomore Abe Grainger then drove in Libby with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 KSC.
The Pionners had a quick response rate with Hoagland’s RBI single to knot it up a 1-1 after the home half of the first inning. Both teams had a number of chances but could not score until Hoagland’s heroics.
Both starting pitchers pitched well in the contest. Senior Cody Dube for the Owls threw a complete game and allowed seven hits, two runs, walked one and struck out ten, but was saddled with his first loss of the season. Mario Danza started for the Pionners and went five innings and allowed just a run and took a no decision. Mitch D’Amato threw two shutout frames to earn the victory in game one.
After a well-pitched game in game one the second game of the twin bill featured offense and Keene State came out on top with an 8-6 victory. Christian Bourgea led the charge offensively in game two as he drove in three runs. Bourgea had two hits in the ballgame, as did senior outfielder Vinny Parilla.
The Owls were able to set the tone early in game two, as they struck for two runs in the first inning. The Pionners grabbed the runs back after taking advantage of sloppy Keene State defense in the third inning. Keene State was then able to scored four more runs in the fourth inning to make it a 6-2 ballgame. However, in the bottom half of the frame the Pionners scored three runs to make it 6-5.
KSC was able to add two insurance runs in the fifth inning as first-year shortstop Mac Struthers picked up his first collegiate hit in the form of an RBI single. One batter later Parilla’s RBI groundout gave the KSC an 8-5 lead.
Senior Keith Simpson worked 3.1 innings out of the bullpen to earn his first win of the season. Simpson allowed an unearned run on three hits and struck out one.
Keene State will be back in action in the Sunshine State during Spring Break in the Russ Matt Invitational. Keene State resumes play on Friday, March 11, at 1 p.m. for game one of a doubleheader against Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Auburndale, Florida.
Brian Clemmenson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org