AUBURNDALE, Fla.--The Keene State College baseball team led a six run lead evaporate in a 9-8 loss to The College of New Jersey on Thursday afternoon.
KSC falls to 5-4 with the loss. The Lions are now 4-3.
The Keene State bats came alive for the second straight day, as the Owls mashed out 14 hits. Kolby Reggione had three hits, while John Williams, Andy Johnson, Trevor Chapin, Vinny Parilla, and Austin Marino each had two.
Cody Dube started and worked 5.2 innings, notching four strikeouts. Nick Nowak took the loss with one unearned run allowed in two innings of work, and Ben Kelly finished with 1.1 innings of one-hit relief.
KSC got going quickly, as singles from Tanner Chase, John Williams, and Andy Johnson to open the first inning put the opening run on the board.
The Lions got one back in the top of the second inning, but KSC hit back with four runs in the bottom half. Marino and Reggione had consecutive singles, and a wild pitch from TCNJ starter Mark Curry brought Marino around to score.
John Williams' sacrifice fly plated Reggione, and Chapin had the big hit of the inning, scoring Chase and Billy Hartmann with a single.
After the Lions pulled within 5-2 in the third inning, KSC stretched the lead to 8-2 in the fourth. Johnson reached on an error and moved up to third on another single by Chapin. Christian Bourgea brought him in with a sacrifice fly to left, and after Vinny Parilla singled to move Chapin to third, Marino drove in a run with a groundout to first and Reggione singled in another run.
The lead did not last long, as the Lions rallied in the next two innings. With one out, Anthony Cocuzza and Patrick Roberts walked, sandwiched around a double from Garen Turner. Josh Limon cleared the bases with a double of his own, and Matt Facas reached on a fielder's choice for the fourth run of the inning.
Turner was the source of offense for the Lions again in the seventh, doubling in Rizzi, then scoring on Roberts' single to tie the score, and in the seventh, Rizzi walked, stole second, and put TCNJ in front on Turner's third double of the day.
KSC thought they had the tying run 90 feet from home, as Parilla led off the ninth with what appeared to be a triple, but was ruled not to have touched second base and was tagged out. Marino struck out and Reggione grounded out to third base to end the game.
Keene State returns to the diamond for a matchup with Keuka College on Friday at 3:30 pm.