MEDFORD, Mass. – The Keene State College baseball team was unable to slow down the hot bats of Tufts University, falling 23-7 in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon at Huskins Field.
- Keene State: 10-8
- Tufts: 10-8
How It Happened
The top six in Keene State's order combined to go 8-for-26, including Abe Grainger's first home run of the season in a 2-for-4 showing. He drove in two runs on the afternoon and added a walk. Connor Walsh went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while John Tarascio had a run-scoring double and two walks. Tufts recorded 21 hits on the afternoon, getting multiple hits from five different players and multiple runs batted in from three, led by Elias Varinos' five and Malcolm Nachmanoff's four.
It was a high-scoring affair for both teams early. The Owls got on the board in the first when Nate Rossi and Connor Walsh singled and Tarascio drove in Rossi with an RBI double. Tufts responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. Tommy O'Hara tied the game at one with an RBI single and Nachmanoff had one of his own that scored two, giving the Jumbos a 3-1 lead.
The Owls struck back with a five-spot in the very next half inning to retake the lead. The frame started with three consecutive walks, one of which scored when Devin Springfield reached on an error. An RBI single from Walsh tied the game and, later, a walk to Grainger and a two-run single by Tyler Gammie provided the Owls a 6-3 advantage. The lead did not last long, however, as Nick Falkson's RBI knock and a single from Nachmanoff and succeeding error made it 6-6 through two innings.
The Jumbos broke it open from there, taking control with a five-run third inning. Harrison Frickman's homer to left made it 8-6 and Tufts tacked on three more on a run-scoring single, sacrifice fly and bases loaded walk. Leading 11-6, the Jumbos plated three more in the fifth and sixth innings and six in the seventh to pull away for good.
Jake Morris (0-1) started and took the loss for Keene State, working the first 2.1 innings. Steven Zadravec, Bobby Baril, Greg Poggioli and Ryan Sliwinski saw time in relief. Sliwinski tossed two innings, striking out two while allowing just an unearned run. Will Dennis (1-0) entered in the second inning and threw 2.1 scoreless innings to calm down KSC's offense and earn the win for Tufts. Manny Ray covered the final five innings, earning a save.
Around the Horn
- The home run for Grainger was Keene State's eighth of the season and his first since April 28, 2015, when he went deep in an 8-2 win at Springfield.
- The Owls have dropped three straight against Tufts, having last defeated the Jumbos 3-2 in the first game of a 2016 doubleheader in Keene.
- It was the most runs Keene State has allowed in a contest since March 16, 2014 against Endicott.
- Keene State is scheduled to return home for four consecutive games, beginning with a matchup against Fitchburg State on Tuesday, April 10 at 3:30 pm.
- Tufts will travel to Roger Williams on the same day. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 pm.