KEENE, N.H. – Mac Struthers' grand slam highlighted an eight-run first inning as the Keene State College baseball team's bats came to life in a 14-10 non-conference victory over Springfield College on Thursday afternoon at Owl Athletic Complex.
- Keene State: 11-9
- Springfield: 17-7-2
How It Happened
Seven different Owls recorded a hit in the 14-run offensive attack. Struthers wound up finishing the day 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, two runs scored and a walk. Abe Grainger went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and a walk. Nate Rossi also drove in two runs and walked, while Devin Springfield reached four times on two hits and two walks. John Tarascio singled, walked and scored three runs. Chad Shade and Logan Barrett each had three hits and two runs batted in for Springfield.
The Pride struck for a run in the first, but Keene State had a big answer in the bottom half of that inning against Springfield starter Nick Naples (2-2). The Owls loaded the bases with nobody out as Springfield doubled, Rossi walked and Connor Longley singled. An error on a bouncer to third and a hit by pitch gave KSC a 2-1 lead. The rally continued with Grainger lining a single to left and David Sevigny working a bases-loaded walk for a 4-1 advantage. Struthers followed with the biggest swing of the inning, a grand slam to left that put Keene State up 8-1 and knocked Naples out of the game without recording an out. The Owls could not plate any more in the inning, but Springfield wound up doubling twice in the frame and KSC sent 12 people to the plate overall.
The Pride chipped away at the deficit from there, getting a two-run homer from Alex Denoyelle in the very next inning that made it 8-3. They drew even closer in the third when Shade singled, stole second and was driven home on Logan Barrett's double.
Leading 8-4, Keene State was back at it in the fourth to extend their lead. The Owls had the bases full with one out on a walk, hit by pitch and a single from Struthers. Tom Meucci drew a walk to force in a run and, after Springfield flied to left, Rossi lined a two-out, two-run single that put KSC up 11-4.
Springfield responded with a three-spot of their own in the next half inning as Shade homered and Kyle Allen scored two with a two-out single that chopped the Owls' lead to 11-7. Grainger remained hot, though, as his single to right center plated Walsh for a 12-7 advantage after five. The Pride continued to hang around, however, as a two-out rally in the sixth resulted in an RBI single from Barrett and a run-scoring wild pitch that made it a three-run game. Springfield kept KSC off the board in the bottom half of the inning and loaded the bases with one down in the seventh on three singles. But KSC reliever Tyler Fitzgerald got David Wells to bounce into a fielder's choice and struck out Nick Leduc to end the threat and keep the Owls out in front 12-10.
Keene State regained some breathing room by plating two in the bottom of that same inning. Longley walked to start the frame and, with one out, Tarascio was hit by a pitch and Grainger reached on an infield hit to load the bases. After Sevigny popped out, Struthers rolled a grounder to short that appeared to end the inning, but the throw was airmailed and two runs scored, giving KSC a 14-10 lead.
Fitzgerald calmed things down with a clean eighth that included two strikeouts and Sevigny came into pitch in the ninth and closed things out with a 1-2-3 frame. KSC starter Steven Zadravec (1-1) earned the win, going five innings with six strikeouts. Bobby Baril, Fitzgerald and Sevigny combined for four innings out of the bullpen.
Around the Horn
- Keene State matched a season-high in runs, having scored 14 in wins over FDU-Florham and Illinois Tech. It was also the fifth time they have scored in double-figures and marked the most runs Springfield had allowed in a game this year.
- The appearance for Christian Bourgea in this game marked his first since March 4 at William Paterson and was the first time in his career he made an appearance in a reserve role.
- Keene State has won three straight against Springfield.
- Keene State gets back into Little East play as they will host Rhode Island College for a Saturday, April 14 doubleheader beginning at 12:00 pm.
- Springfield will return home and host Clark University for a NEWMAC matchup tomorrow, April 13, at 3:30 pm.