Keene, N.H. - The Keene Swamp Bats belted nine home runs leading to a 22-0 victory over Vermont at Alumni Field on Friday night. The loss gave Keene a 1-0 advantage in their New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) playoff series.
Keene used their power early and often in the victory scoring four times in the first on three straight homers. After Dylan DelaCruz singled with one out,Grant Kay launched a two run shot of starting pitcher Alex Haines before JP Sportman and Frankie Schwindel each followed with solo shots of their own. Haines (Greensboro, Pa./Seton Hill) pitched a scoreless second before Sportman hit his second bomb of the day to lead off the third. Two batters later, Jarred Walsh hit another home run to make the lead 6-0 Keene after three.
The Mountaineers struggled all night against Kevin McAvoy who at one point set down seven of eight in a row. Their best threat came in the top of the seventh as Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anselm) hit and infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error from Sportman. Brian O'Grady (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) was hit by a pitch before Cole Peragine (Belle Ewert, Ontario/Stony Brook) walked to load the bases with one out. McAvoy though would settle in and strike out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
In the top of the seventh, after Tyler Rogers (Littleton, Colo./Austin Peay) tossed two shutout innings in relief, Steve Ostapeck began the frame. Kay would strike out but advanced to first on a dropped third strike before reaching third on a wild pitch. Sportman struck out putting a runner on third with one out. Schwindel would single home a run to make the score 7-0, starting a string six straight batters reaching base for the Swamp Bats. In the inning, Keene would tack on 10 runs, including a two-run homer from Walsh, a three run shot from Dylan Moore as well as a grand slam from Schwindel making it a 16-0 advantage after seven.
Keene added four more in the bottom of the eighth when DelaCruz hit a three run blast off Casey Brighton (Hyde Park, Vt./Plattsburgh) prior to scoring three times off Logan Pierce (Troy, Ala./Troy) to up the margin to 22-0. O'Grady came on with two outs and two on to finish the inning as the Mountaineers took their largest loss of the season and their first shutout of the 2012 summer.
Haines (0-1) took the loss giving up six runs in four innings on eight hits while walking one and striking out two. McAvoy (1-0) got the win pitching seven shutout frames scattering four hits while striking out seven and walking one before Zachary Brian finished the game with two scoreless innings himself.
Game two of the best-of-three series will be played on Saturday, Aug. 5 at Montpelier Recreation Field with a 6:30 p.m. start time. All the game action can be heard live on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com