GORHAM, Maine--The No. 6 seed Keene State College baseball team managed just six hits in a 4-1 loss to No. 4 seed Eastern Connecticut State University at Flaherty Field on the second day of the Little East Conference championship, hosted by the University of Southern Maine on Thursday.
- Keene State: 15-22
- Eastern Conn. State: 21-15
How it Happened
The Warriors scored twice in both the first and third innings to take the lead.
John Mesagno led off the first with a single to left-center, and scored on a double down the right field line from Pat Sirois. Alex Parkos made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Warriors tacked on two more runs in the third, getting a lead-off walk from Mesagno, who moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before moving up two more bases on consecutive groundouts. Parkos followed with a single and came home on D.J. Scavone's single to right.
Keene State got on the board in the fifth when John Tarascio led off the fifth with his fourth home run of the year, a solo shot to left. Keene State had the tying run at the plate in the top of the eighth, as Mac Struthers walked and moved up on Connor Longley's single to right, but ECSU reliever Nick Rascati got Connor Walsh to ground out to shortstop to end the threat.
Rascati then set the Owls down in order in the top of the ninth to end the game.
Struthers finished with two of KSC's six hits, including a double in the in the fourth. ECSU starter Ron Buchetto struck out seven in 7.2 innings. The loss spoiled an outstanding relief effort from Keene State senior Nate Pedersen, who tossed 5.1 innings of one-hit ball to keep the Owls in the game. Pedersen never allowed a runner past first base, allowing just a walk in the fifth to Alex Zachary before picking him off first to end the inning, and a leadoff single in the eighth to Sirois before getting three straight fielder's choices.
Tim Coppinger (0-6) took the loss, allowing six hits in 2.2 innings.
Around the Horn
- Tarascio joined Christian Bourgea and Connor Longley with a team high four homers this year; coincidentally, all three players have exactly 24 RBI.
- Pedersen lowered his ERA to a team best 1.80 - if it stays at that mark, it will be the seventh lowest ERA in a season in school history for anyone with a minimum of 20 innings pitched.
- It was the Owls' 20th game this season that was decided by three runs or less.
- Keene State will play the loser of today's third game between UMass Dartmouth and UMass Boston at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 12 in an elimination game.
- Eastern Conn. State will play the host and top-seeded Huskies at 12:30 p.m. in an another elimination contest.