AUBURNDALE, Fla. - Nichols College scored single runs from the second through the sixth innings to hand the Keene State College baseball team a 5-1 loss in their Florida finale Saturday morning at Lake Myrtle Sports Park Field No. 6.
- Keene State: 3-7
- Nichols: 5-5
How It Happened
Ryan Linehan went 2-for-3 with a walk, while Tom Meucci went 1-for-4 and drove in KSC's lone run. Sam Czel and Connor Walsh each had one hit, but the Owls were limited to just five singles on the game by Nichols starter Cameron Legvold and two relievers.
Linehan's two-out single in the top of the second was the first hit for either side in the game, but he was stranded at second and the Bison took the lead in their half of the inning with a two-out rally and never trailed. Kyle Desjardins worked a walk and eventually came home on a pair of errors for a 1-0 lead. Nichols' lead was doubled in the next inning with another two-out run, as Christian Naccari tripled home David Caron. KSC responded in the top of the fourth, making it 2-1 after an error and a Linehan single put two on before Meucci drove in one with a single. The Owls attempted to tie the game on the hit, but Linehan was thrown out at the plate. The Bison continued to tack on runs, scoring in three more consecutive innings. Desjardins started an uprising with a one-out single in the fourth before moving up on a grounder and an infield hit. He scored on Tyler Heenan's RBI single that made it 3-1. Nichols stretched their lead to three after Naccari's infield single in the fifth led to him coming home on a steal, balk and error. Another unearned run in Nichols' next frame made it 5-1 after six.
Keene State threatened late, but could not do any damage. In the eighth, Mac Struthers led off with a walk and moved to second on a groundout, but another grounder and a strikeout ended the inning. The Owls put two on without a hit to start the top of the ninth, as David Sevigny reached on a miscue by the catcher after a strikeout and Linehan walked. Josh DeFrancisco then reached on a fielder's choice and later stole second as KSC had runners on second and third with one out, but a strikeout and bouncer back to the pitcher thwarted any comeback attempt.
Isaac Keehn (0-1) started for the Owls and took the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits over three innings. He walked one and struck out three. Shawn O'Donnell, Greg Poggioli and Connor Johnson followed in relief, with the latter two combining for four strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings. Legvold (1-0) got the win for Nichols after allowing just five hits and one unearned run with five strikeouts over seven innings. Robert Cobb and Isaac Blanford each followed with a scoreless frame.
Around the Horn
- Czel extended his hitting streak to 10 games and now has a .405 batting average on the season. He has also contributed three home runs and 12 RBI.
- KSC scored 67 runs over the 10 games in Florida and hit .295 as a team.
- Four of Nichols' five runs were scored with two outs.
- Keene State returns to New England and will visit Clark University on Wednesday, February 20 at 3:30 pm.
- Nichols stays in Florida until March 23 and will take on Bard College tomorrow, March 17, at 4:00 pm in Auburndale.