Keene Leapfrogs Sanford to Regain 2nd Place
Keene, N.H. - The Sanford Mainers fell on the road on Wednesday night as the Keene Swamp Bats offense came alive with a couple of big innings as they handed the Moose an 11-2 loss at Alumni Field. Despite the loss, the Mainers sit just a half game back of Keene for 2nd place in the Northern Division as the season series between these two teams is now split at 2 games apiece.
The Swamp Bats jumped on top first for the second straight meeting between these two foes as they got one in the bottom half of the first after a walk, a couple stolen bases and a sacrifice fly was able to give them a 1-0 lead.
Matt Dockman (Hilliard, Ohio/Duke) made his third start of the season on the mound for the Mainers, and after the early run, settled down over the next couple of innings as he retired eight of the next 10 batters he faced including striking out a pair.
Keene was able to use some two out hitting in the bottom half of the 4th inning, however, to put up four runs on five hits as they took a 5-0 over the Moose as the game moved into the 6th.
Sanford was able to close the gap on the Swamp Bats in the top half of the inning as Brandon Lankford (Mocksville, N.C./UNC-Asheville) led off with a single and Shane Marshall (Webster, N.Y./Binghamton) and Conner Shepherd (Upland, Calif./Texas Christian University) drew walks to load the bases with nobody out. Josh Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn./SNHU) stepped up and hit a sacrifice fly out to right field which scored Lankford and moved up Marshall on the tag, but a good throw back into 2nd base got the trailing runner in Shepherd and put two quick outs on the board. A wild pitch would end up scoring Marshall but the Swamp Bats were able to get out of the inning limiting the damage to just two runs as the deficit was narrowed to 5-2.
Keene would get those two runs right back in the bottom of the 6th, however, on one of their two 2-run home runs on the night to jump right back out by five. The dagger was dealt in the bottom of the of the 8th by the Swamp Bats as they put up their second 4-run inning of the night and pulled away for good by a final of 11-2.
Although the loss was not what the Mainers had planned for the night, they still only trail Keene by a .5 as they swap places for the second time this week and still sit a full game ahead of Upper Valley for the 3rd spot in the Northern Division. The rest of the week for the Mainers is crucial for their playoff hopes as they play Upper Valley twice and Valley once, starting with Upper Valley tonight at 6:30 at Goodall Park. Make sure to come on down and support your Moose or head on over to the NECBL Broadcast Network where we will have every pitch live for you just as we have all summer.
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New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from July 19, 2018
- Mainers Ice Nighthawks - Sanford Mainers
- Nighthawks Fall to Mainers - Upper Valley Nighthawks
- Playoff Push Dealt Tough Blow as Bay Sox Suffer Frustrating 7-1 Loss to Pilgrims - New Bedford Bay Sox
- Keene Leapfrogs Sanford to Regain 2nd Place - Sanford Mainers
- Gonzalez Homers Twice in 5-3 Win - Newport Gulls
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