KEENE, N.H. – A quality start and a clutch triple from Devin Springfield late in the game helped the Keene State College baseball team earn a split with Rhode Island College on Saturday afternoon at Owl Athletic Complex. KSC rebounded from an 8-4 loss in the first game to beat the Anchormen 4-2 in the nightcap.
- Keene State: 12-10, 3-3 LEC
- Rhode Island College: 14-9, 4-2 LEC
How It Happened – Game One
Rhode Island College scored three runs in the top of the first inning and got a complete game effort from Daniel Greaves (3-0) to win the opener. Springfield led Keene State by reaching base four times, going 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Nate Rossi added two hits and an RBI, while Connor Longley had a two-run double and scored a run. The Anchormen had four multiple-hit performances, led by Frank Pettinato, who was 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and a walk. Brad Douglas, Tyler Walsh and Mike Webb also had two hits, while Shaun Vigeant drove in two.
Douglas led off the game with a double, Ray Zincone singled, and Walsh was hit by a pitch as the Anchormen mounted an immediate threat with nobody out in the first. Pettinato capitalized, driving home two for a 2-0 RIC lead. An RBI groundout from Tyler Rains later in the inning made it 3-0.
Keene State mounted a threat in the bottom of the third, putting two on with one out courtesy of a walk to Mac Struthers and a single from Springfield, but Rossi struck out and Longley popped out to short to end the frame.
Rhode Island College expanded the lead in the fifth with a two-out rally. Walsh was plunked again and Pettinato singled to right before Shaun Vigeant scored both with a line drive double to right, making it 5-0. An error and a walk extended the inning, but KSC got out of it without any further damage.
The Owls had another chance to chip away in the sixth when Springfield and Rossi singled to kick things off, but a fielder's choice and double play snuffed out that rally quickly and Rhode Island College tacked on three more in the very next half inning on RBI singles from Webb, Rommy Morel and a sac fly from Nate Vigeant.
Trailing 8-0, KSC got on the board in the bottom of the eighth. Struthers doubled and Springfield singled to start the frame before Longley brought them both home with a double to right that made it 8-2. Later, a single from John Tarascio brought the Owls within five and, in the ninth, a two-out single from Rossi made it 8-4, but they could get no closer.
How It Happened – Game Two
Keene State got six strong innings on the mound from Isaac Keehn, scoreless relief and a clutch hit to salvage a split with a 4-2 win in the nightcap. Springfield stayed hot, going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and two runs batted in. Struthers also had a two-hit afternoon, while Rossi, Walsh and Abe Grainger each went 1-for-4.
The Owls took the lead in the first when Rossi doubled and scored on Longley's single, but the bats quieted from there against RIC starter Andrew Viega (2-4). The Anchormen eventually took the lead, scoring single runs in the third and fourth frames to go up 2-1. Nate Vigeant's single tied the game at one and, in the next inning, Zincone scored on a wild pitch to give RIC the lead.
Keene State was back even in the fifth, tying the game 2-2 when Springfield doubled and scored when Rossi's fly ball to center was dropped. The game stayed that way until the seventh, when KSC took the lead. Struthers and Tom Meucci each reached on errors with one out and Springfield followed with a line drive triple to right that gave the Owls a 4-2 lead. Keene State could not add on to the lead, but Brandon Heath (4-0) tossed a 1-2-3 frame in the eighth to keep RIC off the board.
The Anchormen mounted one last threat in the ninth, getting a walk from Shaun Vigeant and a one-out single from Morel to put the tying run on base. Tyler Fitzgerald then relieved Heath and recorded his second save of the season. He struck out Sam Franco and, after a single, got Douglas to ground to second to seal KSC's victory.
Around the Horn
- Springfield's go-ahead triple in the second game was the tenth of his career. He moved into a tie for sixth on KSC's all-time triples list, tying Jon Robinson '92, John Luopa '90 and Joe Libby '16.
- Keehn's six-inning outing was his longest of the season, and he now has a 3.22 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 22.1 innings of work this year.
- Weather permitting, Keene State will travel to New England College tomorrow, April 15, for a doubleheader that begins at 12:00 pm.
- Rhode Island College will host UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday, April 17 at 3:30 pm.