Keene, N.H. - The Keene Swamp Bats offenese proved to be too much for Vermont as they dropped both games of a double header in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Wednesday night. Game one was a 9-4 loss while Keene took a 6-2 victory in game two, with each games being seven innings long.
In game one, Mountaineers starter Corey MacDonald (Davis, Calif./Hawaii) pitched five solid innings giving up just two runs on five hits while the offense staked him to multiple leads. In the second inning, Greg Partyka hit a high fly ball to right field with two outs that Austin Wheeler lost in the sun allowing Partyka to reach second. Michael White then delivered with an RBI single to put Vermont ahead 1-0.
The Swamp Bats however battled back in the bottom of the second as Mike Papi hit a solo home run to tie the game. After that long ball, MacDonald set down seven batters in a row pitching a scoreless third and fourth.
Vermont got the lead back in the fourth inning when Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anselm) lead off with a solo shot to put the Mountaineers ahead 2-1. Brian O'Grady (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) followed with a single and later scored when White got a base knock giving his team a two run advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, Keene struck again off MacDonald as Jarred Walsh hit a two out single to score Austin Wheeler, cutting the lead to just one after five. Michael White (East Orange, N.J./Louisville) blasted a homer in the sixth that gave the Mountaineers an added bit of insurance heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Leading by two, Walker Stadler (Glenview, Ill./Indiana) came on to begin the sixth. The righty faced only three batters giving up two walks and a single before being pulled. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Stadler delivered a ball that skipped left of catcher PJ Jones (Vancouver, Wash./Washington State) prompting Papi to break for second. Jones then tried to throw out Papi at second and instead threw the ball into center field allowing a run to score cutting the lead to 4-3.
After issuing his second walk, Stadler was replaced by Steve Ostapeck with two on and nobody out. Brett Barrett hit a single off Ostapeck to tie the game before Fran Whitten launched a three run shot making the score 7-4 Keene. Wheeler followed with a triple before scoring on a Dylan Moore sacrifice fly for the first out of the inning. Ostapeck (Sacremento, Calif./Villanova) would eventually finish the inning but the Swamp Bats added another turning a 4-2 Mountaineer lead into a 9-4 deficit. Vermont would go begging in the top of the seventh dropping game one.
Stadler (0-4) took the loss giving up three runs, two earned, on one hit while walking two withour recording an out in the sixth. John Ingham (1-0) got the win for Keene pitching two shutout innings in relief of Chad Rafferty who went five giving up three runs on seven hits.
In game two, Keene used their potent offense to jump out to a quick 3-0 lead as Grant Kay launched a three run bomb off starting pitcher Luke Crocker. The Mountaineers would get a run back in the second as they hit three straight singles including and RBI base hit from Ryan Karl (Towaco, N.J./Louisville) to cut the deficit to two. It would prove to be the only run they would muster as Joe Pistorese was dominant in five innings.
Crocker (Strafford, Vt./Clark) worked through a scoreless second but then found trouble again in the third. Dylan DelaCruz began the bottom of the third with a solo shot before Kay hit a two run blast just three batters later pushing the lead to 6-1 Keene. Crocker got out of the inning and tossed a scoreless fourth and fifth before giving way to Billy Brooks (Montpelier, Vt./Endicott) who pitched a scoreless sixth.
Crocker (0-1) took the loss for Vermont giving up five runs on 10 hits in his five innings of work while Pistorese (4-1) got the win allowing just one run on five hits, striking out six walking no one in five innings.
The two losses were the sixth and seventh in their last eight games for Vermont who finish the regular season at 18-23 and are the fourth place team in the Western Division playoffs. Playoffs will begin on Friday August 3 when they travel to #1 seeded Keene for a 6:30 p.m. game. All the game action can be heard live on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com.
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