Mainers Bust out the Bats in Keene Doubleheader
KEENE - Over the course of their two games at Alumni Field, the Mainers combined for 20 runs on 18 hits, splitting their doubleheader against the Keene Swamp Bats.
Before the offensive onslaught that was to come in game two, the Moose hit the ground running in game one. After both squads traded zeros in the first inning, Erik Stock (Virginia Beach, Va./UConn) and Reece Armitage (Falmouth, Maine/Marist College) provided the pop in the second. Their two-run home runs raced the Moose out to an early four-run lead.
Following two unearned Swamp Bat runs in the bottom half the inning, Shane Marshall (Webster, N.Y./Binghamton) knocked a full count fastball over the scoreboard in right-center field to retaliate immediately, bringing the Moose advantage back to four.
David Bedgood slugged a solo home run in his team's next turn at bat, but his efforts proved to be the extent of the Keene offense the rest of the way. The long ball was the real misstep for Brandon Backman (Danbury, Ct./St. John's) on the way to another stellar start. In his 5.2 innings of work, he allowed three runs, only one earned, and punched out seven batters en route to his first win.
Even though they led by a three, the Moose offense refused to stop. Two more extra-base hits, a Stock double in the fifth and Drew DeMartino (Pittsfield, Mass./Hartford) solo home run created a five-run cushion that held up for Connor Peplow (Plainfield, Ill./Illinois State) to hammer down his first save of the and secure an 8-3 game one victory.
Looking for vengeance, the Swamp Bats started off game two with their bats ablaze. They put up a quick two runs on a Randall Bednar home run. A Kyle Ball single, Andrew MacNeil sacrifice fly, and passed ball gave the hosts a five-run buffer at the first inning's end.
It did not take much time for the Mainers to respond. To lead off the second, Connor Tate (Bishop, Ga./Georgia) smashed a Marc Davis heater over the wall for his second home run in as many days, getting his team on the board. Orlando Adams (Atlanta, Ga./Kentucky) added on with a dinger of his own, bringing the Keene lead to three.
Not wanting to let the Moose back into the ballgame, the Swamp Bats tacked on two more to widen the gap back to five. A throwing error enabled Bednar to touch home after stealing third base while a Ball sacrifice fly pushed the score up to 7-2.
Once again, the Mainers got back to work on offense. Both teams fell silent in the third before Tate led off the fourth with a bang. His second big fly in as many at-bats kickstarted his team's offense. Adams and Jack Van Remortel (Carmel, Ind./Michigan) reached base without putting the ball in play, setting the stage for Sterling Hayes (San Diego, Calif./Vanderbilt) to blast his first home run of the year, a no-doubter to dead center to cut the Moose deficit to one.
The Swamp Bats were not comfortable with their 7-6 edge, so they set out to deliver the pain in the bottom of the fourth. Succeeding a leadoff flyout, they jumped all over Moose pitching, starting with a Justice Lucas two-run home run. Walks issued to Thomas Joseph and Randall Bednar sandwiched a Kevin Welsh single to load the bases. Bedgood took four balls to draw an RBI walk ahead of back-to-back base hits from Ball and Logan Mathieu. When it was all said and done, the hosts scored six times and led 13-6.
Despite being down, the Mainers were not out. Trailing by seven, they kicked their offense into gear. Marshall kicked things off by taking a pitch off the backside and promptly advanced to second on a groundout. A wild pitch and passed ball on consecutive tosses got him across home plate for the seventh Moose run.
The next three batters reached base without swinging the bat to fill the bags for Adams. He made the Swamp Bats pay for their inability to throw strikes with one majestic swing, a no-doubt grand slam that traveled well over 400 feet that reduced the Swamp Bat edge to two.
Two straight doubles from Hayes and DeMartino got one more run across and applied the pressure to the first base dugout, forcing Keene to react quickly.
On the strength of five unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth innings, they did just that. Kevin Welsh's three-run homer and successive doubles from Lucas and Seth Caddell propelled the Swamp Bats ahead by six, closing out an 18-12 victory.
The Mainers head home to Goodall Park tomorrow for a 6:30 PM matchup with the Martha's Vineyard Sharks. You can catch all the action on the Patriot Subaru Sanford Mainers Radio Network powered by the NECBL Broadcast Network. In the meantime, head to sanfordmainers.com and follow the team on social media to stay connected with the Moose.
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