An eight-spot in the third inning broke the game open for the Greater Keene 15U team in a 12-2, six-inning win over North Providence-Smithfield, RI on the second day of the Babe Ruth New England regional on Saturday night at Alumni Field in Keene.
With the win, Keene moves to 2-0 in Group A pool play, the only undefeated team left in Group A. Sunday will be the final day of pool play, with Keene facing off against Sanford, Maine (1-1) at 7 p.m. at Alumni Field.
In that third inning, Rhode Island hit four Keene batters and walked two more. Keene’s eight runs came on just two hits.
“We always talk about our plan and our approach at the plate,” said manager Dave Miller. “When we have discipline and patience, we put it in play and things happen. Of course, [Rhode Island] made a couple mistakes.”
Taylor Miller — son of Coach Miller — had the first of two big hits that inning: a two-run single. Later on, Zak Whitney — in his second at-bat of the inning — hit a two-run double.
Taylor Miller finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, as the nine-hitter.
“Just trying to get baserunners and remember what coach tells me in the cage,” Taylor Miller said. “Trying to keep my swing nice and level, just poke something out there. Nothing too big.
"It’s definitely important when your whole lineup can produce," Taylor Miller added. "Really helps out and you can work your way back to the top.”
“That’s when we’re at our best,” Coach Miller said. “When the 7,8,9 hitters can produce. Even when they don’t get the big hit like [Taylor] did, just have good at-bats and put yourself in a position to keep it moving.”
Fitch Hennessey, Sean Callahan and Sawyer Lepple also had RBIs in the inning.
Callahan also pitched a gem for the Greater Keene All Stars, throwing the first five innings, allowing just one run on four hits. He had four strikeouts.
“Just throwing strikes,” Callahan said. “We got a ton of runs in the beginning that helped a ton with the confidence. They couldn’t really hit too much of my fastball.”
“It was just first-pitch strikes all day long,” Coach Miller said. “Got in a little trouble with some plays in the field that we should’ve made for him, but other than that he had first-pitch strikes. Just pounding the zone.”
Keene got out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning before Rhode Island tied it in the second. But the eight-run third inning put Keene ahead from that inning on.
“Just throw strikes. If they get the ball in play and score some runs that’s fine,” Callahan said of the change in mentality with the early run support. “We had a lot of runs to work with.”
Keene was well on its was after the eight-run third inning, and — after Callahan wrapped up his outing — Ollie Frowein pitched the sixth to finish things up.
After Rhode Island loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, a fielder’s choice from RI's Jaiden Allard scored a run to make it 12-2, but Michael Allard was caught trying to score on the groundout, and the game was over on a double play.
Along with Taylor Miller, Jake Hilliard had a two-hit day for Keene (on his birthday). He went 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. He led off the fifth inning with a triple into the left-centerfield gap. Hilliard reached base on four of his five plate appearance. He was hit twice.
Pool play wraps up Sunday before the playoff bracket begins Monday at the Keene State College baseball field. The top three teams from each of the two groups advance to the single-elimination playoff bracket, with the group winners earning a first-round bye.
Other scores from Saturday:
Game 3: Waterford (CT) 9, Sanford (ME) 8
Sanford, Maine put some pressure on Waterford, Conn. in the bottom of the seventh inning, putting the tying run on third base and the winning run on second, but couldn't get that last hit as Waterford held on to win, 9-8, Saturday afternoon on the second day of the Babe Ruth New England regional at Alumni Field in Keene.
Sanford held a 7-6 lead after four innings before Waterford tied things up in the sixth. Waterford then took the lead with two runs in the seventh and never gave it up.
Sanford scored a run in the seventh inning to cut the deficit to one, and had the tying and winning runs in scoring position, but a pop-out to Waterford's Zach Ruest at third base ended the threat.
Quinn Speller went 3-for-4 in the leadoff spot for Waterford with a double, two singles and a walk. He scored four times. Caleb Turner also went 3-for-4 with three singles and a walk. Cooper Sheehan (2-for-4) and Ruest (2-for-4, 2 runs) also had multiple hits for Waterford.
For Sanford, Brady Adams went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Tyler Sevigny (2-for-3, 3 runs), Ben Gill (2-for-3) and Zach Kassim (3-for-4) had multiple hits.
Both teams are now 1-1 in pool play with one more game to go on Sunday.
Game 2: Lynn (Mass.) 6, Pittsfield (Mass.) 5
Lynn, Mass. took the battle of Massachusetts Saturday afternoon on the second day of the Babe Ruth New England regional, beating Pittsfield, Mass., 6-5, at Alumni Field in Keene.
Lynn scored five runs in the third inning to pull ahead, and that lead lasted. Pittsfield scored three runs in the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 6-5, but the team came one run short.
Lynn's five-run third inning saw 10 hitters get to the plate. Seth Sullivan (1-for-3), Josh Doney (0-for-1, 3 BB), Jared Paone (1-for-3), Chris Marles (1-for-3, 2 R) and Shea Mewhall (1-for-3) all scored for Lynn in that inning.
Lynn moves to 2-0 and Pittsfield falls to 1-1.
Game 1: Three Corners (Vt.) 12, Rochester (NH) 2 (5 innings)
Three Corners, Vt. got in the win column on the second day of the Babe Ruth New England regional with a 12-2, five-inning win over Rochester, NH Saturday morning at Alumni Field in Keene.
Rochester scored twice in the bottom of the first to take an early lead, but Three Corners went on to score 12 unanswered runs on just four hits. Kasen Blood had two of those hits (2-for-3) to lead Three Corners. He hit a single and a triple.
Rochester handed out 18 walks in the game and hit six batters.
Cage Thompson pitched for Three Corners, throwing 3.1 innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and striking out seven. Will Knowles pitched the last 1.2 scoreless innings.
Three Corners moves to 1-1 in Group A pool play and Rochester falls to 0-2.