Eighth Inning Bites Baseball Again in 5-4 Loss at Springfield

Eighth Inning Bites Baseball Again in 5-4 Loss at Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield College scored with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to retake the lead and went on to hand the Keene State College baseball team a tough 5-4 setback in Thursday afternoon non-conference action at Archie Allen Field.

Records

  • Keene State:  7-14
  • Springfield:  14-11

How It Happened

For the second consecutive contest, Keene State jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage, but the Pride rallied with one in the second and three in the third to take the lead and eventually went back ahead late after the Owls tied the game in the sixth.  Connor Longley and John Tarascio paced KSC's offense, each going 2-for-4 with a run batted in.  Tarascio also scored a run, but the Owl offense managed only six hits.

Despite that, Keene State did go in front in the early going, as Mac Struthers walked with one down in the first inning and eventually scored on Longley's two-out ground rule double.  After Isaac Keehn put up a zero in the bottom half, the Owls added to the lead when Tarascio singled to start the second and stole second before Ryan Linehan walked.  A sac bunt moved them into scoring position, and both scored after a passed ball and a run-scoring groundout.  The Pride drew within 3-1 in their half of that frame and eventually went ahead after three hits and three walks made it 4-3 after three.  In the third, the first four Springfield batters reached, drawing the home team within one.  The Pride both tied the game and took the lead on a pair of bases-loaded walks.

Trailing 4-3 and having 12 consecutive batters retired, the Owls awoke in the sixth to tie the game at four.  Connor Walsh and Longley each recorded a base hit with one down before Keene State loaded the bases on an error.  Tarascio plated one with a fielder's choice, but KSC got no more, as a strikeout ended the frame.  The Owls had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the top of the seventh after a single, steal and walk started the inning, but the visitors wound up stranding three, and the game remained tied.  The Pride went ahead in the bottom of the eighth.  Cam Rivest's bunt single with one out gave Springfield a baserunner, and he made his way around the bases through a wild pitch, fly to right, and passed ball to make it 5-4.  KSC threatened once more in the ninth, as Sam Czel walked and swiped second, the Owls' fourth stolen base of the day, but he could advance no further as a fly to left and a strikeout ended the game.

Jake Morris allowed one run over the final two innings while striking out two, but took the loss to fall to 1-2.  John Daley (1-0) struck out three and did not allow a run over the last 2 1/3 innings.

Around the Horn

  • KSC's three-game winning streak against Springfield was snapped.  The Owls are 14-8 in the all-time series.
  • Keene State has played three consecutive games decided by a 5-4 score, having dropped the last two on the road.

Up Next

  • Keene State gets back into conference play with a visit to third-ranked University of Southern Maine on Saturday, April 13.  First pitch of the doubleheader is at 12:00 pm.
  • Springfield begins a three-game NEWMAC series at Clark University tomorrow, April 12, at 3:30 pm.