GORHAM, MAINE 5/8/13 - The second season didn't get off to a good start for the Keene State College baseball team which dropped a 12-9 slugfest to UMass-Boston in an opening-round game of the Little East Conference baseball tournament in Gorham, Maine on Tuesday.
The third-seeded Owls (18-22), will have their hands full staying alive in the tournament, playing top seed and host Southern Maine in a second-round game on Thursday (12:30 p.m.). USM (34-7) defeated sixth seed Western Conn. 13-2 in its first-round game.
Fourth seed UMass-Boston (16-21) will take on second seed Eastern Conn. in its second-round game on Thursday (3:30 p.m.).
Keene State finished the game with 16 hits with juniors Nick Vita (Spofford, N.H.), and Andrew Gummow (Brookline, Mass.) and freshman Billy Hartmann (Greenland, N.H.) each getting three hits. Senior Greg Bates (Salem, N.H.) and Gummow each knocked in a pair of runs.
Junior Jamill Moquette (Boston, Mass.), sophomore Todd Ezold (Westfield, Mass.), and freshman Nick Brothers (Fort Myers, Fla.) paced UMB's 17 hit attack with three hits each.
The Owls took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first with Vita, Gummow, and freshman Brett Dootson (Marlborough, Conn.) getting RBI hits.
After the Beacons scored three run in the top of the fourth to tie the game (4-4), KSC answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead 6-3. Sophomore Tanner Luopa (Keene, N.H.) and freshman Cody Dube (Windham, Maine) had RBI hits for KSC in the inning.
Sophomore Tyler Estevez (East Hartford, Conn.) extended the Owls' lead to 7-4 with an RBI double in the fifth.
UMass-Boston scored four runs in the sixth and two more runs in the seventh to take the lead 10-7. Freshman Jason Cholish (Exton, Pa.) had a two run sixth in the sixth and Moquette and Ezold hit solo home runs in the seventh.
Keene State scored two runs in the eighth to cut the lead to 10-9. Bates and Gummow had RBI hits in the frame.
The Beacons added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning.
Senior Chris Crutcher (Londonderry, N.H.) started for the Owls and left the game with two outs in the s0069th inning. Junior Dan Osorio (Manchester, N.H.), the Owls' second pitcher took the loss (1-3).
Senior Michael Broughton (New Britain, Conn,) got the win for the Beacons.
KSC won its lone LEC title in 2008.