WINTER HAVEN, Fla.--Freshman Connor Walsh was a combined 4-for-10 with three doubles and six RBI, delivering the game winning hit in the nightcap as the Keene State College baseball team swept a doubleheader from Curry College, 8-6 and 7-6 in 12 innings at Chain O' Lakes Field.
- Keene State: 5-4
- Curry: 2-9
How it Happened
In the opener, the Owl bats banged out 10 hits in support of starter Michael Crimi (1-0), who earned the win with a complete game, seven strikeout effort. Third baseman Christian Bourgea and designated hitter John Tarascio each had two hits, while Walsh and Bourgea both drove in three runs.
The game remained scoreless until the third inning, when the Owls forced three across. Zach Rollins singled to center and stole second, followed by a walk to Nathan Rossi. Bourgea drove in Rollins with a single to right, and Tarascio plated both Bourgea and Rossi with a single to center. It stayed 3-0 until the top of the seventh inning, when the Owls tacked on five more runs.
Rollins was hit by a pitch with one out, and moved up on Struthers single to center. Bourgea brought both around with a hit to left-center, and Devin Springfield and Tarascio singled to load the bases. That brought up Walsh, who stroked a double to deep center that cleared the bases for an 8-0 lead.
The Colonels made a game of it in the bottom of the seventh, sending 11 batters to the plate. A hit batsman, a KSC error, and a pair of walks brought in a pair of runs, and a 2-RBI single by John Cave made it 8-4. Another error and a single made it 8-6, but Crimi got Nick Crivello to foul out to Walsh at first base to end the game.
In the nightcap, Walsh delivered both the tying and winning hits, and four Keene State relievers combined to allow two hits over the final seven innings. Michael McDermott (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless 12th inning. Alan Schiff started and struck out four in five innings of work, and Andrew Houde tossed 4.2 innings of hitless relief, recording six strikeouts.
Keene State went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first on Tarascio's sacrifice fly to right that brought in Mac Struthers. Justin Cage's RBI single in the third tied the game. A double by Adam Duarte and a wild pitch in the fourth brought in two runs, and Curry made it 4-1 on Jared Keller's RBI single through the right side.
Zach Rollins beat out an infield single to second and moved into scoring position on a passed ball before coming around on Bourgea's RBI hit to shortstop. Walsh hit a one-out double in the sixth and scored on Tom Meucci's single to center.
Curry restored a two run lead when Vincent LoPriore scored on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh, but the Owls forced extra innings with a two-out rally in the bottom half of the frame. Springfield beat out an infield hit and moved into scoring position on an error before coming around on Tarascio's single to center. Walsh then delivered the tying hit with a double to right that brought home Tarascio.
Houde kept the Colonels off the board for the majority of the extra innings, but the Colonels did bring in a run in the top of the 12th on Michael Moreau's sacrifice fly center. The Owls would not be denied their fourth straight win, loading the bases on an error, a single by Springfield, and a walk, before Walsh walked the Owls off with a 2-run single to left field.
Walsh and Springfield both had three hits to lead a 12 hit KSC attack.
Around the Horn
- It was the fifth extra inning game for the Owls this season. Keene State had not played a game that went 12 innings since a 10-8 loss to UMass Boston on April 18, 2015.
- Walsh, who had one at-bat in the Owls' first five games of the season, is now 7-for-16 (.438) with 10 RBI in KSC's last four games.
- Houde's six strikeouts were as many as he had in his first five appearances of the season combined. His ERA dropped from 3.00 to 1.69.
- Keene State plays a single game against Hamilton College at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Pat Thomas Field in Leesburg.