PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Keene State College baseball team played their second game in less than 24 hours against Plymouth State University, except this time with a different result, falling in a 13-11 slugfest on Tuesday afternoon at Panther Park.
- Keene State: 14-15, 4-6 LEC
- Plymouth State: 11-14, 4-6 LEC
How It Happened
The Owls rallied from a 5-1 deficit with a five-run fifth, but a six-run inning from Plymouth State and a late comeback were not enough as KSC dropped their final road game of the regular season. Devin Springfield led Keene State out of the top spot in the lineup, going 3-for-6 with a double, two runs batted in, two runs scored and a stolen base. Connor Longley went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a walk, and two runs scored, while Nate Rossi also had a pair of hits. Christian Bourgea reached base twice and drove in two. Plymouth got ten hits from the top five in their order, paced by Josh Goulet's 3-for-5. Goulet, Ryan Richard and Luke Mancini each drove in three runs.
The Panthers struck in the first, taking a 1-0 lead on Ryan Richard's sacrifice fly off KSC starter Jake Morris. The Owls evened the game in the top of the third when David Sevigny led off with a double and scored on an error later in the inning, but PSU put up four runs in their next at bat. Cam Ruziak launched a solo shot with one out to put the Panthers back on top and, after a walk and a double, back-to-back singles from Richard and Goulet along with an error gave Plymouth a 5-1 advantage.
Keene State stranded the bases full in the top of the fourth, but roared back to take their first lead of the game with a five-run fifth. Springfield kick started the rally by singling with one down, stealing second and advancing to third when the catcher's throw got away before scoring on a wild pitch. The Owls weren't done, as they loaded the bases with singles from Rossi and Connor Walsh and a walk from Abe Grainger. Mac Struthers then drove home one with a hit of his own and, after a pitching change, Bourgea tied the game 5-5 with a line drive down the right field line. A two-out base knock from Longley put KSC on top for the first time.
The lead did not last for long, though, as Plymouth tied it in their half of the fifth and put up six runs in a decisive sixth inning. In the fifth, Geoff Kayo worked a leadoff walk and eventually scored on Nate Frederick's two-out single to left. Keene State had a chance to respond in the sixth when Springfield led off with a double, but that went for naught and the Panthers then doubled their run total in the bottom of the sixth after two were out. Richard put Plymouth ahead 7-6 with a single that scored Ruziak, who had led off with a base hit of his own. Goulet then followed with a triple in the left center gap before Frederick doubled, making it 9-6. The biggest blow of the inning came off the bat of Mancini, as his three-run homer helped Plymouth hit for a cycle as a team in the inning and take a 12-6 advantage.
PSU tacked on another in the seventh before Keene State mounted a late comeback. Longley started the eighth by taking ball four and eventually scored on Springfield's third hit of the day. Rossi followed with a double, putting two in scoring position with one down. A groundout from Walsh and a double from Grainger plated both and brought KSC within 13-9. The Owls then brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth. Bourgea started the frame with a walk before moving up on Longley's one-out single. An error on pinch-hitter Tyler Gammie's grounder to short plated Bourgea and still left two in scoring position as Plymouth went back to the bullpen with the tying run at the plate in the form of Springfield. Dylan Gaita was able to get out of it, though, as Springfield's bouncer produced a run but was the second out and a strikeout ended the comeback bid and left the two teams tied in the conference standings.
Tyler Fitzgerald (3-2) entered in the fifth and wound up taking the loss for Keene State. Ryan Sliwinski, Brandon Heath, Michael McDermott, and Sevigny also saw time on the mound. For Plymouth, Will Austin (1-1) won in relief and Gaita picked up his third save.
Around the Horn
- This marked the fourth year in a row these two teams split their regular season meetings. The Owls won 8-4 yesterday afternoon in Keene. KSC leads the all-time series 37-24.
- It was Springfield's fifth three-hit game of the season. He is hitting a team-high .327.
- Struthers has recorded at least one RBI in his last five games.
- Keene State is scheduled to host Westfield State tomorrow afternoon, April 25, at 3:30 pm. Check keeneowls.com for any weather-related changes.
- Plymouth State will remain home and entertain Salem State on Thursday, April 26 at 3:30 pm.