PROVIDENCE, R.I. 3/30/13 – The Keene State College baseball team began its Little East Conference schedule by splitting a doubleheader against Rhode Island College in Providence on Saturday.
Despite a four RBI performance by junior Nick Vita (Spofford, N.H.), the Owls (6-12, 1-1 LEC) dropped the opener 8-6. Senior pitcher Spencer Hutchinson (Broad Book, Conn.) was the story in the second game. After missing the past two seasons with Tommy John surgery, the right-hander scattered five hits over six innings, giving up two runs with four strikeouts and three walks in a 6-2 nightcap victory. He improved his record to 1-1.
Freshman Cody Dube (Windham, Maine) was sensational in relief. He pitched three innings of hitless ball with three strikeouts to pick-up his second save of the season.
Hutchinson and Dube got plenty of offensive support, especially from junior Domingo Cruz (Manchester, N.H.) who had two hits and three RBIs in the game.
KSC went up 2-0 in the top of the second on a two-run single by Cruz. The Owls added three more runs in the sixth. Cruz had an RBI double down the left field line and freshman Brett Dootson (Marlborough, Conn.) had a two-run single to center.
RIC got two runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 5-2.
The Owls added an insurance run in the eighth when sophomore Tanner Chase (York, Maine) singled and came around on an error.
Senior Greg Bates (Salem, N.H.) and Dootson and Vita each collected two hits in the game.
In the opener, Keene State took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a RBI double by Vita, but RIC (4-14, 1-1 LEC) came right back with four runs in the bottom of the inning and three more in the second to go up 7-1. Freshman Matt Foley (Seekonk, Mass.) belted a three-run home run in the first and senior Kevin Carey (Wakefield, R.I.) and sophomore Dean Grasso (Cranston, R.I.) had run-producing hits for the Anchormen in the second.
The Owls scored four runs in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 7-5. Vita once again had the key hit in the inning for KSC, a three-run double to right center.
RIC added one more run in the bottom of the fifth to make it an 8-5 game. Keene State got its final run in the top of the eighth on a RBI single by junior Andrew Gummow (Brookline, Mass.).
Vita finished the game with two hits and four RBIs for the Owls.
Gummow also went 3-3 with an RBI while freshmen Billy Hartmann (Greenland, N.H.) and Dube each had two hits at the top of the Owls line-up.
Senior Zach Hubbard (Kissimmee, Fla.), RIC's leadoff hitter, also had three hits in the game.
Senior Chris Crutcher (Londonderry, N.H.) took the loss for the Owls. He gave up eight runs on nine hits with six strikeouts, evening his record at 1-1. Freshman Alan Schiff (East Hartford, Conn. tossed three inning of three hit relief with a couple of strikeouts.
Senior David Hoey (Lincoln, R.I.) picked up the win on the mound for RIC.
Keene State is at regional power Trinity on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.).