KEENE, N.H.--Vinny Parilla was a combined 5-for-9 with a double, a triple, and six RBI as the Keene State College baseball team ended a nine game losing streak by splitting a doubleheader with Western Connecticut State University on Sunday. The Colonials took the opener 14-7 before the Owls won the nightcap 6-5.
The win was a number of firsts for Keene State, which is 7-13, and 1-5 in the LEC; the first win since March 20, the first win in New England, and the first conference win of the year.
The Colonials are 11-7, and 5-1 in LEC play.
Western Connecticut scored in each of the first four innings to break open the game. Frank Vartuli had an RBI single and Dave Palladino smacked a three run homer in the first off Owls starter Keith Simpson.
Two runs in the second and third inning increased the lead to 8-0 before the Owls pulled back four runs in the bottom of the third. Billy Buscetto was hit by a pitch, Trevor Chapin reached on an error, and Christian Bourgea walked to load the bases. Parilla cranked a triple to the gap in right center to clear the bases, and came home on Kolby Reggione's double to right-center that cut the lead to 8-4.
Western Connecticut increased the lead to 12-4 with four runs in the top of the fourth, and added another in the sixth in EJ Lavoie's sacrifice fly.
The Owls made it 13-5 in the seventh on Parilla's RBI single. Two more runs came across for the Owls in the eighth as John Williams reached on an error and scored on Joe Libby's double to right-center, and Libby came across on a wild pitch.
Vartuli doubled in another run in the top of the ninth for the final margin.
Parilla finished game one with three hits and four RBI. The Colonials had 11 hits, including multi-hit games from Matt Greene, Vartuli, and Bryan Harper in support of starter Craig Frobel. Frobel went seven innings, allowed just one earned run, and struck out seven to improve to 2-1
A five run rally in the seventh inning and a spectacular relief effort by Cody Dube give the Owls the win.
KSC touched WCSU starter Todd Lyons for all six runs, and 12 hits. Lyons had come in to the day allowing just five runs in his previous 31.2 innings of work this year.
The Owls had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Libby stroked a leadoff double and came home on Trevor Chapin's double to left center.
WCSU took the lead in the third inning when Gus Constantino led off with a double. KSC starter Michael Crimi hit the next two batters to load the bases, then allowed a fielder's choice to Palladino that brought in one run, and a wild throw on a stolen base attempt brought in another.
RBI singles for Lavoie and Greene increased the lead to 4-1 in the fourth, and an error allowed Joe Costa to score in the sixth, making it 5-1.
The game turned in the seventh inning. Billy Hartmann's sensational diving stop of a ball heading down the left field line ended the top of inning, and the Owl bats came alive in the bottom half.
Designated hitter Dustin Howe led off with a single, and pinch runner Zach Rollins moved to second on Hartmann's single up the middle. Both runners moved into scoring position on Buscetto's sacrifice bunt.
Libby's infield single plated Rollins, and Parilla doubled in Libby and Hartmann with a deep hit off the wall in right. The game was tied when Chapin singled to right field, and an error by Lyons, acting as the cutoff man, allowed Parilla to score while Lyons was attempting to throw out Chapin taking second.
Chapin had gone all the way to third on the error, and Christian Bourgea put the Owls in front with an RBI groundout to shortstop.
Dube (1-1), who pitched 5.1 innings in relief of Crimi, struck out Palladino and Vartuli to end the game. Lyons took the loss, falling to 3-1.
Chapin finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Parilla, Libby, and Matt Boulay each had two hits for KSC.
"Vinny's had some good at bats," said head coach Ken Howe. "It was a tough outing in game one and and we made some good adjustments in game two."
Keene State is slated to head to Plymouth State for a single game at 3:30 pm on Tuesday afternoon.