Southern Maine sweeps baseball Owls 9-6 and 6-3
KEENE, N.H. 4/28/12 – The Keene State baseball team moved back into a three-way tie for second place in the Little East Conference standings after dropping a doubleheader to the University of Southern Maine 9-6 and 6-3 at Owl Athletic Complex on Saturday.
Keene State, ranked 25th nationally, falls to 26-11 (8-4 LEC). Southern Maine (19-16, 9-3) takes over the top sport in the Little East. "Southern Maine came to Keene ready to play and I don't' know if we were," said KSC Coach Ken Howe. "They took care of business today."
Senior David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine) went 3-4, including a home run on the very first pitch of the game and junior Nick Douglass (Portland, Maine) tossed one-hit relief ball over the final three innings to lead the Huskies to a win in the first game.
Falling behind 4-0, the Owls got one run back in the bottom of the second on a RBI single by sophomore Nick Vita (Spofford, N.H.). After USM scored in the top of the third, senior Erik Bergstrom (Enfield, Conn.) cracked a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, in the bottom of the inning to make it a 5-3 game.
Trailing 6-3, Keene State tied the game with two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh. Vita brought in both runs in the sixth with a single down the right field line. Junior Greg Bates (Salem, N.H.) led off the seventh with a double, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
Junior Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H.) broke the tie with a two-run single in the eighth. Sophomore Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) hit a solo home run in the ninth.
Freshman Ian Seawards (Dover, N.H.), Bergstrom, and Vita each had two hits for the Owls. Senior Tim Thiesing (South Grafton, Mass.) started for KSC and took the loss (3-1). He went the first 3.1 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Senior Ben Ives (Portland, Maine) went the first six inning to get the win and remain undefeated (8-0). He allowed six runs on seven hits while fanning seven.
Southern Maine came back from an early 2-0 deficit to win the second game. KSC took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Bates and senior Kyle Morrill (Auburn, N.H.) opened the inning with singles. Bates scored on a foul pop out and Morrill came home on a RBI single down the left field line by senior Larry Longo (Londonderry, N.H.).
Southern Maine tied the score in the top of the sixth on a two-run home run by Ricker. Morrill put the Owls back on top 3-2 in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run, his fourth of the season.
In the eighth, Ricker brought in a run with a sacrifice fly and White hit a two-run home run to give the Huskies a 5-3 lead. They added a run in the ninth when junior John Carey (South Portland, Maine) doubled and scored on a sacrifice.
Senior Peter Burgio (Bolton, Conn.) had three of the Owls' nine hits in the game.
One bright note from the doubleheader came from Bates, who scored a couple of runs to break the Owl season record with 59. The previous mark of 57 was set by Jeff Perkins in 2009 and Bobby Doyon in 2011.
Ricker had two hits and three RBIs for the Huskies. He went 5-8 in the doubleheader with four RBIs.
Senior Jeff Pelkey (Fitzwilliam, N.H.), who took the loss (4-2), was cruising along until he ran into trouble in the sixth inning. He went 7.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits with a couple of strikeouts.
Sophomore Logan Carman (Newfield, N.H.) got the start for USM. He pitched into the seventh before giving way to Douglass who picked up the win (2-1). He tossed one hit ball over the final 2.2 innings, striking out the side in the ninth. He fanned seven and issued two walks.
Keene State will face Wheaton College in a key regional game on Sunday (3 p.m.). Wheaton and KSC are one-two in the latest regional poll. "Unlike football where you have to wait a week to play again, we have the opportunity to come out and try to compete against a very good Wheaton club," said Howe. "Hopefully, we can bounce back tomorrow."