The Keene State College Baseball team split the two games it played this past week. The Owls lost three games because of weather conditions, including their conference opening doubleheader.
The Owls opened the season at home on March 30, with a 6-4 come-from-behind win against Trinity College. In the contest, the Owls received a good start from junior pitcher Alan Schiff. Schiff threw seven innings and allowed four runs, just one earned and he recorded eight strikeouts.
In the home opener, Keene State was able to strike first, scoring two runs in the second inning. Seniors Joe Libby and Billy Hartmann drove in runs via RBI singles to give KSC a 2-0 advantage.
However, the Bantams were able to respond in the third inning plating three runs to take a 3-2 lead. The game remained that way until the sixth inning, when junior Zach Rollins, pinch running for senior Dustin Howe, scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-3.
Trinity was able to regain the lead in the top of the seventh as a run came home via a wild pitch to make it 4-3. Keene State responded in the home half of the seventh as they loaded the bases. Libby was hit by a pitch to drive in the tying run and one batter later Hartmann hit a two run double to give the Owls a 6-4 advantage.
In the victory the Owls pounded out 12 hits. Howe went 3 for 3 with a walk and Libby and Hartmann each had two hits. While Hartmann drove in three runs and Libby drove in two runs.
Senior Keith Simpson threw the final two innings to record his first career save and struck out three batters.
Keene State was back in action under the lights at New England Baseball Complex on March 31, against Framingham State. In that contest the Owls fell in ten innings 6-5.
Once again, the Owls received another solid starting pitching performance. Sophomore Tim Coppinger went six innings, allowed two runs and took a no decision.
Keene State fell behind 2-0 and could not get anything going offensively until the sixth inning. The Owls knotted the game up at 2-2 in the top of the sixth. Hartmann drove home Libby with an RBI single and sophomore Christian Bourgea drove Hartmann in with an RBI double.
The game would remain tied until the tenth inning as junior Nate Pederson threw 1.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen and senior Eddie Dionne threw 1.2 scoreless out of the pen.
Keene State plated three unearned runs in the tenth inning as Framingham State committed three errors to make it 5-2. Hartmann drove in the lone run that scored on a base hit.
In the home half of the tenth, the Owls could not shut the door as sophomore Nick Nowak walked the first two men he faced. Then sophomore Stephan Zadravec came in and walked the only man he faced.
The Owls then turned to Simpson with the bases loaded and no outs. The first man Simpson faced reached on an error. Simpson then allowed back-to-back singles and the Rams walked off with the victory in extra frames, scoring four runs to win 6-5.
Keene State’s doubleheader was rained out on April 2 against Western Connecticut State University and their non-conference game against Salve Regina was postponed on April 3, by snow.
As of April 4, the Owls record is at 8-8. Keene State will open conference play this weekend on April 9, against Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic for a doubleheader at 12 p.m.
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