May 8, 2009
GORHAM, ME -- The Keene State College baseball team used a 16-hit attack to stave off elimination, defeating University of Massachusetts Boston, 9-6, Friday morning in the third game of the Little East Conference Baseball Championship tournament being played at USM Baseball Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Maine in Gorham, ME.
The win moves the third-seeded Owls into another elimination game later Friday against the loser of the game between Southern Maine and Eastern Connecticut State University. Keene State, winners of the 2008 LEC title, are now 24-15. The fourth-seeded Beacons bowed out of the four-team, double-elimination tournament in two straight and end their season at 19-22.
KSC erased a 3-2 UMB lead with four runs in the fourth inning on six hits to take a 6-3 lead. Junior third baseman Keith Patnode (Keene, NH) skied a pop fly to left field that dropped in just inside the line for a double and freshman second baseman Kyle Morrill (Auburn, NH) followed with a run-scoring single up the middle. Senior first baseman Beau Darak (Londonderry, NH) then fisted a bloop single into center field, before Morrill stole third to set up an RBI single from senior center fielder Jeff Perkins (Dunbarton, NH) to give Keene State a 4-3 margin. Senior shortstop Jamie Chevalier (Amherst, NH) followed with a single to center to load the bases and junior catcher Anthony Cipolla (Glastonbury, CT) delivered the run from third with a sacrifice fly to center field that Perkins moved to third on. Sophomore right fielder Bobby Doyon (Keene, NH) promptly followed with a rip to left field to give the Owls a three-run cushion. Patnode hit a solo homer in the fifth to increase the lead to 7-3.
Senior designated hitter Eric Salvador (Middleboro, MA) pulled a pitch over the left field fence for UMass Boston to cut the margin to 7-5 in the home half of the fifth. The teams traded runs in the eighth with Keene State getting its run when senior Jeff Perkins (Dunbarton, NH) scored on a passed ball. UMB tallied its run on an RBI double off the bat of junior left fielder Drew Tambling's (Sterling, MA) RBI double. Keene State added an insurance run in the ninth when freshman pinch-hitter Cody Callahan (Seekonk, MA) led off with a single to right and Patnode followed with a single through the right side before Morrill came through with an RBI single to left center to give KSC a 9-6 lead.
The Owls got on the board in the top of the first inning when Chevalier belted the first pitch he saw for a one-out homer over the left field fence. Cipolla followed with a single up the middle and moved to third on a single to right by Doyon, before scoring on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of sophomore left fielder Tyler DiPrato (Suffield, CT) to give the Owls a 2-0 lead. UMass Boston answered right away when freshman center fielder Mark McCormack (Shelton, CT) singled to left and moved into scoring position on a double to left by sophomore second baseman Ryan Walsh (Newton, MA). McCormack came home on a fielder's choice by sophomore shortstop Dan Noonan (Westport, MA) and Walsh followed on a single by Salvador to tie the contest at 2-2. The Beacons continued their hot hitting in the second when Tambling led off with a triple down the right field line, a pitch after trying to reach with a bunt, and trotted home on a single up the middle from freshman third baseman Jim Albano (Medford, MA) to take a 3-2 edge. UMass Boston threatened in the third after Noonan led off with a single to center and sophomore first baseman Connor Reinfurt (Manchester, NH) later stung a ball to left field for a double, but Noonan was cut down at the plate on a perfect relay throw from DiPrato to Chevalier to Cipolla, who blocked the plate perfectly.
Freshman right-hander Jeff Pelkey (Fitzwilliam, NH) (6-1) pitched seven innings for the Owls, scattering 11 hits and two walks while striking out three. Freshman Dan Wogksch (Bethel, CT) pitched the final inning to earn his second save. Junior left-hander Mike Andriano (Massapequa, NY) (2-4) started on the mound for the Beacons and took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out two in three and two-thirds innings of work.
Doyon and Patnode paced the Owls attack with three hits each. Chevalier, Cipolla and Morrill each had two hits, and Morrill also had two RBI. Chevalier and Patnode each hit home runs for the Owls.
Tambling went 4 for 4, finishing a homer short of the cycle to lead the UMB offense, while Salvador had three hits, including a two-run homer and drove in three runs. Albano also contributed with two hits.
The Beacons finished their season with the second-highest win total in school history and broke every significant offensive record in school annals, including runs scored, runs batted in, hits, doubles, total bases, stolen bases and hit by pitch.
A number of individual records also fell during the season. Walsh set the program record for hits (70) and total bases 98), while tying McCormack for the doubles mark with 18. His season batting mark of .424 is also the third-highest in school history. McCormack broke the standard for runs scored (55) and tied for most bases on balls with 24. Noonan set the new mark for runs batted in with 42 and was hit by a pitch more than any UMB player in history with 19.
Senior Ryan Oshima (La Jolla, CA) tied the school-record for career games played with 141 with his pinch-run appearance today and scored a run to place him fifth with 89 career runs scored. The outfielder also stands one short of the school mark for walks with 54 and is tied for second in lifetime steals with 49. Senior reliever Anthony Lauretto (Pembroke, MA) finished just one short of the UMB career appearances mark with 47 and tied for the most saves in school history with six for his career.