Swamp Bats Blast Steeplecats 12-2June 28, 2012 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) Keene Swamp Bats
Strong pitching from Keene's starter Scott Simon (Washington St.) paired with equally impressive hitting performances from the Swamp Bats gave Keene the easy win. Nelson Ward (Georgia), Grant Kay (Iowa Western CC), Jared Walsh (Georgia), and Frankie Schwindel (St. John's) led the offense with a combined four home runs, eight runs batted in, and seven runs scored on 9-19 hitting.
North Adams got the game started with two runs in the top of the first. Jeff Roy (Rhode Island) led off with a weak ground ball to Simon, but a throwing error advanced Roy to third base. He scored on the next pitch off an RBI groundout from Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (Barry University). Charlie Law (Rutgers) followed up with a single to centerfield. Then, with two outs and Law on second, Esteban Tresgallo (Miami) brought him in with an RBI single, concluding the scoring for North Adams.
Keene answered the scoring immediately with a run in the bottom of the first. Ward led off the inning with a double down the right field line and scored on an RBI groundout from Kay a couple of batters later.
The scoring continued in the second inning for Keene. Schwindel led off the inning with a home run to centerfield, his first of the year.
With the score tied 2-2, the Swamp Bats took the lead in the bottom of the third. Ward led off the inning with his second double of the game. He scored on a throwing error to third base from North Adams shortstop Shane Klemcke (Texas Pan American). The error came on a ground ball from JP Sportman (Central Connecticut St.), who reached first on the fielder's choice. Two batters later, Walsh drove a home run over the left-centerfield wall to extend Keene's lead to 5-2. It was his third home run of the year, and continued his seven game hitting streak along with his two game home run streak entering the game.
The next inning, the power display from Keene continued, with Ward hitting his first home run of the season. Ward finished the game 4-5 with four runs scored and one RBI.
After two scoreless innings with a 6-2 lead, the Swamp Bats broke the game open with a six-run bottom of the seventh. With runners on second and third with two outs, Cameron O'Brien (Louisville) hit a two-run double down the left field line, giving Keene the 8-2 lead. The next batter, Ward, hit a pop-up to the third baseman Bryan Soloman (Eastern Kentucky), who was not able to catch the ball, allowing Ward to reach first on an infield single. Sportman followed with an RBI single, scoring O'Brien from second base.
The two-out rally chased North Adams reliever Brian Hunter (Hartford) from the game, giving way to Robert Baroniel Jr. (Nova Southeastern). On Baroniel's first pitch, Kay ripped his third home run of the season over the centerfield wall, giving Keene the 12-2 lead. Kay finished the game 2-5, with four runs batted in and one run scored.
The 12-2 lead held throughout the remainder of the game thanks to quality pitching from the Swamp Bats. Starter Simon finished the game with 5.2 innings pitched, two runs (one earned) on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Keene's bullpen finished the game, throwing 3.1 scoreless innings of relief.
Andrew Grant (UMass-Amherst) initially relieved Simon, going 1.1 innings, striking out three while walking one and giving up one hit. Chad Rafferty (St. Joseph's College of Maine) finished the game for Keene, pitching scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
The win improves Keene's record to 11-4, while North Adams falls to 10-7. The Swamp Bats are now two games ahead of the Steeplecats for first place in the Western Division.
The Swamp Bats are in action Friday night, traveling down to Danbury, Conn. to take on the Danbury Westerners. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 pm.
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New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from June 28, 2012
- Blue Sox Win Third-Straight, 9-8 - Holyoke Blue Sox
- Swamp Bats Blast Steeplecats 12-2 - Keene Swamp Bats
- Newport Comeback Falls Just Short at Holyoke - Newport Gulls
- Lightning Shortens Mainers Chances of a Comeback - Sanford Mainers
- Keene Bats Come Alive in 12-2 Win over North Adams - North Adams SteepleCats
- Vermont Wins Second Straight, 8-3 Over Sanford - Vermont Mountaineers
- Newport Gulls present "Idol Night" - Newport Gulls
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