The Keene State College baseball team came close in a pair of Little East Conference (LEC) games, 5-3 and 8-7 at UMass Dartmouth, Saturday April 8.
Michael Crimi had yet another strong pitching game, and went for naught as the Owls gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Crimi (3-1) tossed his fourth and final complete game of the season, striking out nine in eight. Mac Struthers and Devin Springfield each had three hits, and Connor Longley had two. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when UMass Dartmouth took a 2-0 lead on a two-out, two-run home run. The Owls cut the lead in half at the top of the seventh when Struthers singled up in the middle and moved to second, before scoring on Longley’s single. UMass Dartmouth had a 3-1 lead, but the Owls tied the game in the top of the eighth. John Tarascio had a one-out walk and scored on Springfield’s double to left-center field. Springfield took third on the throw to the place and touched home on Tom Meucci’s single to right-center field. UMass took the lead back in the bottom of the inning as two players singled with one out before they could score on a passed ball and on a wild pitch. UMass took the first win 5-3.
Tarascio was 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI’s and Samuel Czel also went deep, but the Owls fell short in the top of the ninth. UMass Dartmouth jumped out with a 5-0 lead in the first inning. The Corsairs homered off of Andrew Houde.
Tim Coppinger relieved Houde and got the next two players up to bat out. The Owls hit two homers of their own in the top of the second. Christian Bourgea singled through the right side with one out before Tarascio went deep off of the Corsairs’ pitcher. Meucci singled to set the table for Czel, who slammed his first home run of the year over left field. UMass led the bottom of the second with a solo shot to left, but the Owls tied in the top of the third when Tarascio had a 2-RBI single to right-center field. UMass went ahead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single.
Walsh led off the eighth inning by reaching on an error and a wild pitch, which put pinch runner Zach Rollins into scoring position. Tarascio singled him over to third, but Springfield hit into an inning, ending a 4-3 double play. The Owls brought home one run in the ninth as Meucci led off with an infield single to shortstop and moved up to second when Czel was hit by a pitch. Struthers hit into a fielder’s choice and an error brought in Meucci. Rossi hit into another fielder’s choice and Longley grounded out to shortstop in the inning.
No. 8 Tufts
While being on the road for the fourth time in three days, the Keene State Owls fell short to the No. 8 Tufts University 10-2 on Sunday, April 9. Christian Bourgea had three hits and Zach Rollins hit his second home run of the year. A six-run third inning gave Tufts the lead. Keene State got on the board in the fifth when Nate Rossi was hit by a pitch and Rollins got a home run for the second time in eight days. Tufts added three more runs in the sixth and another in the eighth. The Owls had a runner in scoring position in the ninth when Bourgea and David Sevigny both singled, but Rossi flew out to center and Rollins stuck out.
Shelby Iava can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org