Four-Run Third, Strong Relief Pitching Power Owls to 5-4 Victory Over Johnson & Wales

Four-Run Third, Strong Relief Pitching Power Owls to 5-4 Victory Over Johnson & Wales

KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College baseball team received a pair of hits from four different people and went on to beat Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) 5-4 in non-conference action Saturday afternoon at Owl Athletic Complex.

Records

  • Keene State:  7-12
  • Johnson & Wales:  16-6

How It Happened

A four-run third inning put the Owls ahead and proved to be enough as KSC picked up their first win at Owl Athletic Complex, beating a Wildcats team that had won seven of eight entering the day.  Keene State's offense was balanced, with four different multi-hit efforts, including John Tarascio, who went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI.  Connor Walsh walked, drove in a run, and scored in a 2-for-3 showing, while Tom Meucci reached four times on two singles and two walks.  Ryan Linehan also had a pair of hits and scored a run.  Tim Lombardi and Colby Greenhalgh combined to go 4-for-8 with three runs batted in, two runs scored and two walks at the top of JWU's lineup.

After the visitors engineered the first true threat of the game in the second but left the bases loaded, they broke through in the next inning with three consecutive singles to go up 1-0.  Greenhalgh's base hit through the left side started the rally, and Joe Maracic and Lombardi followed with base hits of their own to put Johnson & Wales on the board.  Keene State was not behind for long, however, as they answered with four runs and four hits in their half of the third against Wildcats starter Tom Doran.  Meucci started the frame with a single, flipping the lineup around, and Sam Czel was then hit by a pitch.  With one out, Walsh singled to tie the game before Connor Longley put the Owls ahead 2-1 with a long double to the wall in right field.  A clutch two-out single from Tarascio that was just fair down the left field line added two more KSC runs.

Leading 4-1, Shawn O'Donnell and Greg Poggioli kept the Owls in control, as O'Donnell induced a double play in the fourth to face the minimum, and struck out two in a row in the fifth after Greenhalgh's double made it 4-2.  Poggioli entered with two outs in the fifth and cruised through the next two frames, not allowing a hit while working around a pair of walks.  Johnson & Wales drew within one in the eighth, as a walk and a single started the frame, but were erased after Steve Rocchio bounced into a 6-3 double play.  With a man on third and two outs, pinch-hitter Alex Domingos reached on a throwing error, allowing the Wildcats to get within one.  KSC got the run back, and it proved to be critical, with a two out rally in their half of the eighth.  With Linehan and Meucci reaching on singles earlier in the inning, Czel joined in on the action with one of his own, scoring Linehan for a 5-3 advantage.

Connor Johnson worked around a walk to Greenhalgh and a Lombardi RBI single to record his fourth save of the season, getting Aidan Hagarty to foul out and Adam Diehl to bounce into a routine fielder's choice to seal the win.

O'Donnell (3-1) picked up the win, allowing two runs over 3 1/3 innings of relief, striking out four, and Johnson got his fourth save, all in relief of Alex Koletar, who struck out two over 1 1/3 in his first career start.  Doran fell to 1-1, allowing four runs over five innings.

Around the Horn

  • Johnson's four saves tie him for eighth on the all-time KSC single-season list.  Greg Ford '08 has the top three spots, including a single-season best eight in 2005.  Johnson has allowed just one run in his last 8 1/3 innings, striking out eight.
  • Meucci raised his average to .333 and now has seven multiple-hit games this season while reaching base at a .424 clip.
  • Tarascio now has four doubles and three triples in 2019.  He needs one more triple to tie for 10th on the single-season list and is now one of six Owls with at least 10 RBI this year.
  • Keene State has won three of the four all-time meetings with JWU, including the last two by one run.  The Owls won 6-5 in Providence last year.

Up Next

  • Keene State heads to Tufts University for a single game tomorrow, April 7, at 1:00 pm.  The Jumbos are receiving votes in the most recent d3baseball.com Top 25 poll.
  • Johnson & Wales visits Lasell College for a GNAC doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 4:00 pm.