KEENE, N.H. 4/21/13 – A pair of freshmen led the Keene State College baseball team to a 5-1 victory over rival Plymouth State University at Owl Athletic Complex on Tuesday. Brett Dootson (Marlborough, Conn.) knocked in the go-ahead runs with a double down the right field line in the fifth inning and Cody Dube (Windham, Maine) pitched 3.1 innings of one-hit relief ball with three strikeouts in the Little East Conference win.
Both teams scored runs in the first inning. The Panthers (16-16, 3-7 LEC) scored in the top of the inning when senior Steve Beard (Middleton, Mass.) led off with a walk and came home on a double play ball. KSC (17-16, 7-3 LEC), winners of six straight, got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Senior Greg Bates (Salem, N.H.) led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throw down to second base on a stolen base attempt by sophomore Tanner Chase (York, Maine).
The score remained tied until the fifth inning with Dootson's two-run double. "He threw me a slider and I tried to stay within myself and got lucky," said Dootson. "It felt good."
The Owls third run of the inning came home on a fielder's choice out.
Meanwhile, Dube was getting it done on the mound. Coming into a jam in the top of the fifth with runners on first and third with one out, Dube got a strikeout and a ground out to end the threat. "I've been in that situation a lot this season so I'm used to it," said Dube, who improved his record to 4-1. "Those are the starting pitcher's runs and if I'm that starting pitcher I wouldn't want those runs to score, so I just tried to bear down and get the outs we needed."
Chase turned in the defensive play of the game with two outs in the bottom of the eight when he charged and bare-handed a dribbler by sophomore Brian Thompson (Southington, Conn.) and threw him out at first base. "I figured the only play I had was to bare hand it and I was able to make the play," said Chase, who has moved from shortstop to third this season.
KSC got its final run in the eighth on an infield error.
Bates had three of the Owls' eight hits in the game. Junior Nick Vita (Spofford, N.H.) kept his 16-game hitting streak alive with a single to right in the eighth inning.
Beard had two of the Panthers' four hits in the game.
Junior Tucker Regan (Niantic, Conn.) took the loss for PSU.
The Owls swept the series against the Panthers, winning earlier in the season 3-0 in Plymouth.
Keene State hosts Daniel Webster in a make-up game on Thursday (4 p.m.). Plymouth State returns home to face Castleton State on Wednesday.