Sanford, ME – After a two-day breather, the Swamp Bats picked up from where they left off, defeating the Sanford Mainers 5-1.
Scott Simon (Washington St.) toed the rubber for the Swamp Bats in his fourth start of the season. He went up against Jerry Ferris (Spring Arbour), who was making his first start of the season.
Both teams went scoreless through the first four innings of the game thanks to impressive starting pitching from Simon and Ferris.
The Swamp Bats were first to score Friday night, putting up two runs in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Fran Whitten (Maine) started the rally with a single to right field. The next batter, Cameron O’Brien (Lousiville), launched a two-run homer to right-center field. The home run is O’Brien’s third of the year, and it gave Keene a 2-0 lead at that time. O’Brien went 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored on the evening.
Keene added another run the very next inning on an RBI single from Jared Walsh (Georgia), scoring JP Sportman (Central Connecticut St.) from second base. The RBI single improved Walsh’s on-base streak to a season best 17 consecutive games. That gave Keene a 3-0 lead.
Simon pitched a stellar game for the Swamp Bats, limiting the Mainers to only three hits in six innings of work without surrendering a run.
Sanford put up a run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly from Ino Patron (Long Beach St.), scoring Brett Armour (Wake Forest). The run was unearned, charged against Andrew Grant (UMass-Amherst), as Dylan Moore (Cypress Community College) led the inning off with an error. Kyle Gehrs (Iowa Western CC) came on to finish the bottom of the eighth after Grant walked a batter with two outs. Despite walking a batter of his own, Gehrs got Anthony Hajjar (Fairfield) to ground out to end the threat.
Keene put up two insurance runs in the top of the ninth on a two-RBI double from Dylan Delacruz (Central Connecticut St.). Delacruz finished the game 3-4 with two runs batted in.
Tyler Gauthier (Southern NH) finished the game for Keene after Gehrs was removed from the game with an injury. He struck out all three batters he faced to give Keene the win.
Grant Kay (Iowa Western CC) also had a solid game, going 4-5 including a double.
The win improved Simon’s record on the year to 3-0. Ferris got the loss, his first of the year.
With the win, Keene improves to a 21-6 record, still first in the Western Division, while the Mainers fell to 9-15.
The Swamp Bats are back in action Saturday night in Holyoke, Mass. to take on the Blue Sox. First pitch from Mackenzie Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 pm.