Montpelier, Vt. - The Vermont Mountaineers had the tying and winning runs on base with one out in the bottom of the ninth but couldn't find a way to score against Kyle Gehrs as the Keene Swamp Bats took a 3-2 victory at Montpelier Recreation Field on Saturday night in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action. The loss was Vermont's third in four games and drops the Mountaineers (6-7) below .500.
Both starting pitchers began the game working in and out of trouble before the Swamp Bats (9-2) broke through with a run in the third on Frankie Schwindel's RBI single. Vermont would scratch a run across in the home half of the inning as Aaron Barbosa (Dracut, Mass./Northeastern) drove in his first run of the season with a single to score Ricky Boas.
In the fourth, Grant Kay gave the Swamp Bats the lead back on a RBI single to score Dylan Moore as Keene led 2-1. However, Michael White (East Orange, N.J./Louisville) launched his first homer of the year off starting pitcher Joe Pistorese to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth.
Brad Schnelle (Moon Township, Pa./Seton Hill) continued to work around hits before Fran Whitten reached second base when Boas (Wildomar, Calif./St. Mary's) threw the ball away on what would have been an infield single. He later came home when Cameron O'Brien hit a bounding ball through the hole on the left side to push Keene ahead 3-2.
Vermont struggled against Pistorese who at one point retired eight of nine batters through the fifth and six innings. In the bottom of the seventh, the Mountaineers put runners on first and second against reliever David Mahoney with one out, prompting a pitching change. Tyler Gauthier came on and walked PJ Jones (Vancouver, Wash./Washington State) to load the bases. After a strikeout of Boas, Kyle Gehrs came on and retired the inning leaving the bases loaded.
The Mountaineers again threatened in the bottom of the ninth as both the tying and winning runs reached base with one out. Chris Cook (Annapolis, Md./George Mason) was thrown out at third on a double steal attempt leaving the tying run on second with one out. Gehrs then struck out Jones on a full count to end the game.
Schnelle (1-1) takes the loss giving up three runs on 12 hits while walking one and striking out one. Pistorese (2-0) picked up the win going six innings giving up two runs on five hits while striking out three. Gehrs earned his second save of the year getting the final seven outs of the game giving up just one hit.
Vermont returns to action on Sunday June 24, as they travel to New Bedford, Mass. to take on the Bay Sox at 2 p.m. All the game action can be heard live on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com.
Game Notes: Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anslem) singled in the first inning extending his on-base streak to ten games with hits in eight of them...Ryan Karl (Towaco, N.J./Louisville), who was pinch run for in the seventh by Cook, singled in the seventh to extend his hit streak to nine straight games.
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