PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Senior third baseman Abe Grainger delivered another key hit to lift the Keene State College baseball team to a 6-5 win over Johnson & Wales University on Saturday afternoon.
- Keene State: 8-4
- Johnson & Wales: 7-4
How it Happened
The Owls thrice rallied from deficits, taking the lead for good with a one out rally in the top of the ninth. David Sevigny reached on a throwing error by Johnson & Wales shortstop Raimiel Rodriguez and went up to second, and the next batter, Connor Longley, was hit by a pitch. That brought Grainger to the plate, and the senior came through with a triple to bring in both runners.
Sevigny came in from centerfield in the bottom of the ninth and struck out Rob Ballinger and Colby Greenhalg before getting Rodriguez to groundout to short to end the game, picking up his first career save.
John Tarascio finished the game 3-for-5, while Tyler Gammie was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Longley was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and three RBI. Andrew Houde started and went six innings for the Owls, striking out six batters. Tyler Fitzgerald (3-0) went two innings out of the pen to earn the win, notching one strikeout and allowing just two hits.
The Wildcats had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Aidan Hagarty, but the Owls tied it in the second, when Connor Longley singled to lead off the inning and scored on Longley's single to short. It remained 1-1 until the sixth, when the Owls went in front when Longley and Grainger reached on errors, and Longley scored on Gammie's RBI single. Johnson and Wales scored three times in the bottom of the sixth, with an RBI single, and error, and a fielder's choice putting JWU up 4-2.
Keene State tied the game for a second time in the top of the seventh, as Tarascio singled and Sevigny walked to set the table for Longley, who doubled to left to plate both runners. Rodriguez put the Wildcats in front for the final time in the bottom half, doubling down the right field line to score Ballinger, but Grainger's heroics gave the Owls their fourth straight win.
Josh Mousseau (0-1) took the loss for Johnson & Wales.
Around the Horn
- With three wins already this season, Fitzgerald is nearly halfway to the single season record for wins in a season. The current record is seven, done by Michael Crimi in 2017, Jeff Pelkey in 2011, and Dan Nelson in 2010. Fitzgerald's current opponent batting average of .156 would be third in a single campaign, and he needs just 8.1 innings to reach the 20 inning minimum threshold.
- Tarascio made his first start in the field this season, having started all his other contests this year as the Owls' designated hitter.
- Keene State won for the third time this year after trailing in the sixth inning.
- Keene State opens Little East Conference play with a doubleheader at Western Connecticut State University at noon on March 31.
- The Wildcats resume play tomorrow, travelling to Eastern Connecticut State for a 1 p.m. start.