Owls Drop 2-1 Game to Huskies; Fall out of LEC Tournament
GORHAM, Maine 5/13/12 – In a do or die ball game for the Keene State College baseball team, junior starting pitcher Chris Crutcher (Londonderry, N.H.) pitched eight strong innings, but the University Southern Maine got to him in the bottom of the ninth, as Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) ripped an RBI-double to right field, to send the Huskies to the Little East Conference tournament championship game against the no. 6 seed Plymouth State.
"You couldn't have asked for more from Crutch (Chris Crutcher)," said KSC head coach Ken Howe. "He definitely deserved a better fate, but it is very unlike us to only score four runs in three games. Tournament pitching is tougher and we have to do better."
The Owls (31-13) are now eliminated from the Little East Conference tournament and will wait for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. "I think we have done enough and deserve the bid," said Howe. "But we didn't want to leave it up to a committee, we wanted to take care of business out on the field, but now we will have to wait and see."
The NCAA selection show and tournament bracket is set to be announced on Sunday night, by clicking on the following link. http://www.ncaa.com/sports/baseball/d3
Matching Southern Maine's number one starter inning for inning, Crutcher went eight-plus innings, scattering seven hits, allowing two runs and two walks with three strikeouts.
Southern Maine starter Ben Ives (Portland, Maine), went the distance for the host team, a nine inning, three hit performance with 10 strikeouts and the one Keene State run.
John Carey (South Portland, Maine) got the Huskies on the board first, in the bottom of the second inning, as he laced a single to left field, to score Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine) for the early 1-0 lead. Carey has a tournament-high six RBI's for the Huskies.
The very next half inning, the Owls answered with a run of their own. Freshman outfielder Ian Seawards (Dover, N.H.) led off the top of the third by reaching on an error from the Southern Maine third-baseman, and advanced to second base on the errant throw. After moving up 90 feet to third base on a groundout to the pitcher, junior third baseman Greg Bates (Salem, N.H.) had a clutch, two-out RBI-single to right field, to score Seawards and even the game at 1-1.
After that both pitcher kept putting goose-eggs up on the scoreboard. Crutcher ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth, as Matt Powers (Portland, Maine) and David Ricker (Winthrop, Mass.) had back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. After inducing Jake Glauser (Goffstown, N.H.) to hit into a six-to-three double-play, Powers tried to score on a wild pitch, but the ball bounced off the brick-wall backstop right back to KSC catcher Chuck Vogt's (Windsor Locks, Conn.) glove, and he was able to throw Powers out in a pickle, to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Southern Maine put the Owls away in the ninth, as Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H.) and Grady led off the inning with base-on-balls, setting the stage for Chadwick's game-winning hit to right-field, to send Southern Maine into the Little East Conference championship game to be played later on Sunday afternoon.