KEENE, N.H. 4/10/13 – Keene State College saw its late inning rally come up just one run short, falling to Western New England University 7-6 in non-conference baseball action Wednesday afternoon at Owl Athletic Complex.
The Owls, who fell behind 6-0, had their chances to tie the game in the seventh and eighth innings, but couldn't come up with the key hit. "Their pitchers came in and did a good job," said KSC Coach Ken Howe. "We had our chances, but couldn't get the key hit. "Eddie (Dionne) had a tough start, but our relievers came in and put some zeroes up on the board and we had an opportunity to get ourselves back in the ball game."
Ranked seventh in New England, the Golden Bears (15-6) scored four runs in the top of the first inning, courtesy of a grand slam home run by sophomore Stephen Buckley (Monroe, Conn.).
Training 6-0 after three innings, Keene State got one run back in the bottom of the fourth inning on a RBI single up the middle by sophomore Tanner Chase (York, Maine).
After WNEU added a run in the top of the fifth, KSC came right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a pair of fielder's choice plays.
Keene State kept the rally going, scoring three more runs in the seventh inning to cut the Golden Bears lead to 7-6. Sophomore Ian Seawards (Dover, N.H.) had a two run single up the middle and freshman Cody Dube (Windham, Maine) brought another run home with an infield single. KSC had the bases loaded and one out, but couldn't get the tying run home.
Keene State threatened again in the eighth, getting a runner to third with one out, but left him stranded.
Freshman Billy Hartmann (Greenland, N.H.) and Seawards each had three hits while senior Greg Bates (Salem, N.H.) and junior Nick Vita (Spofford, N.H.) each had a couple of hits for KSC, who had 12 hits in the game.
Buckley finished the game with two hits and four RBIs for the Golden Bears. Junior Jeff Schult (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) and seniors Tim Clark (West Springfield, Mass.) and Kyle McKelvey (Schenectady, N.Y.) also chipped in with two hits each for Western New England.
Dionne struggled in his four inning on the mound, giving up six runs on seven hits. Owl relievers junior Shawn Egan (East Hartford, Conn.), freshman Alan Schiff (East Hartford, Conn.) and senior Eric Perrault (Salem, N.H.) combined for five innings of one run and four hit ball to give KSC a chance to get back in the game.
Junior Brendan Nugent (Milford, Conn.) went the first five innings to pick up the win for WNEU. He allowed three runs on eight hits with a couple of strikeouts.
Senior Kevin Jefferis (Cheshire, Conn.), the fifth pitcher used by Western New England, shut the door on the Owls rally, pitching no-hit ball with four strikeouts over the final two innings.
Keene State is at Westfield State on Thursday (3 p.m.).