WINTER HAVEN, Fla.--The Keene State College baseball team did not let the lead get away this time, with a 6-5 win over Keuka College on Friday afternoon.
Keene State is now 6-4 this season. The game was the season opener for the Storm.
A day after letting an 8-2 lead turn into a 9-8 loss against The College of New Jersey, the Owls were faced with similar circumstances, as a 6-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth nearly evaporated.
Keene State chased Keuka starter Zach Nobles in the first. Libby led off with a single, and Nobles issued consecutive walks to Abe Grainger and Andy Johnson. Trevor Chapin then lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that bring in the first run of the game. After Vinny Parilla walked to re-load the bases, Nobles was replaced by Keith Ryan, who struck out Dustin Howe to end the inning.
The Storm pulled a run back in the bottom of the first, thanks to Jon Borchert's sacrifice fly, but Haddad kept them at bay, getting Tommy Drumm to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the second. Haddad only allowed one runner past first base after the first inning.
Meanwhile, KSC added two more in the fourth as Billy Buscetto scored on an error and Johnson brought in Libby with an RBI groundout. Another error allowed Johnson to score in the seventh inning and Abe Grainger singled in a pair of runs in the top of the eighth for a 6-1 lead.
KSC would need every bit of it, as the Storm sent 12 batters to the plate in the ninth, scoring four times.
A pinch hit single by Kyle Dailey and a KSC error set the table for Brian Colbert, who doubled in a pair of runs, and another error and a fielder's choice brought in two more to make it 6-5. Eddie Dionne came in in relief and issued walks to Jake Burachalk and Jon Borchert to load the bases, but ended the game by striking out Dakota Skinner to pick up his first career save.
The Owls conclude their Spring Break trip with a date against Clarkson University at 9:10 am on Saturday morning.