Ninth inning rally leads Keene State over Westfield State 6-4

Photo Courtesy:  Mickey Curtis
Photo Courtesy: Mickey Curtis

WESTFIELD, Mass. 4/11/13– Tyler Estevez (East Hartford, Conn.) rapped a game-winning RBI double in the ninth inning to lift Keene State College to a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Westfield State University in non-conference baseball on Thursday.

The Owls of Keene State are 11-15 overall while the Owls of Westfield State are 10-11.

With the score tied at 4-4, Brett Dootson (Marlborough, Conn.) led off Keene's ninth inning with a single to right center. Ian Schoonmaker (Scotia, N.Y.) walked then Dootson was forced out at third following a sacrifice bunt attempt. Estevez then delivered his game-winning blow, a fly ball just inside the right field line. Billy Hartman (Greenland, N.H.) added an insurance run with an RBI single.

Dan Rokitowski was hit by a pitch to lead off Westfield's final at bat, but Cody Dube (Windham, Maine)came on to earn the pitching save by retiring Westfield's 3-4-5 batters.

Keene scored an unearned run in the first inning when Hartman singled, advanced to third on a throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt, and scored on a passed ball.

The Owls ripped five hits in the home half of the first and scored three runs. Rokitowski, Kevin Greene and Andrew Medeiros singled to load the bases and Rokitowski scored on a balk. Pat McWilliams drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and designated hitter Tim Santilli hammered an RBI double.

Keene took a 4-3 lead in the fifth while recording only two hits. Estevez was hit by a pitch and Hartman walked. Nick Vita (Spofford, N.H.)  was also hit by a pitch to load the bases. Estevez scored on a wild pitch and Andrew Gummow (Brookline, Mass.)and Dootson followed with RBI singles.

Westfield pushed across an unearned run in the seventh inning to tie the score at 4-4. Greene lined a two-out single and stole second. Medeiros was intentionally walked and Greene scampered to third on a wild pitch. McWilliams struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt, but he reached safely on a catcher throwing error to first base, allowing Greene to score.

Westfield out-hit Keene, 11-9, but Westfield pitchers issued 10 walks and hit two batters, both in Keene's three-run fifth inning. Keene stranded 14 base runners, Westfield 10. Both teams used five pitchers in the three-hour, 25-minute game.

Hartman was 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI and Dootson was 2 for 5 with an RBI. Ian Seawards (Dover, N.H.) was 2 for 5 with a double.

Rokitowski, Greene and Mederos each had two singles for Westfield.

Joe Katin (Byfield, Mass.), the third of Keene's five pitchers, was credited with the victory. He hurled an inning and a third, allowing one hit and striking out three.

Keene State hosts Western Conn. on Saturday (12 p.m.).

(Story Courtesy Westfield State Sports Information)