The Greater Keene Babe Ruth youth baseball program came out with a pair of wins Friday at New England Regionals.
The 15 and under team defeated North Providence-Smithfield (R.I.) in five innings, 16-1, at Bullens Field in Westfield, Mass. The 13 and under team took twice as many innings, but ultimately prevailed over Milford (Conn.), 3-2, on a walk-off infield single by Ben Dean at Cubeta Stadium in Stamford, Conn.
In the 18 and under tournament, the Junior Swamp Bats Black team lost its first game of the day to Cape Cod (Mass.), 5-0, then won its second game against the other Junior Bats team, Team Purple, in five innings, 16-4.
The 15U team is set to play Braintree (Mass.) Saturday at 4:30 p.m., then Pittsfield (Mass.) Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The 13U team takes on Pittsfield Saturday at 3 p.m., then Plymouth (Mass.) Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The 18U Black team faces New Milford (Conn.) Saturday at 12:30 p.m., with the winner facing the loser of the Cape Cod-PNJ (Mass.) game at 7 p.m. After losing its second game, Team Purple was eliminated from the tourney.
In the 15U game, Keene jumped on the board with four runs in the first inning, then added one in the second, six in the third and five in the fourth before sealing the mercy-rule win in the top of the fifth.
Connor Branon led the offense, going 3-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and four RBI. Jack McLaughlin went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, while Tucker Brown was 1-for-2 with four runs.
Jared Schmitt went 3-for-3 with a double and two runs, Liam Conley was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI and Jacob Kidney finished 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
On the mound, Alex Charles pitched the first three innings, giving up one run and striking out two to earn the win. Conley threw two shutout innings of relief.
The 13U team had a tougher time on offense.
Keene got on the board with two runs in the second — with Cal Tiani scoring on a throwing error and Dean coming in on a sacrifice fly by Evan Gutkowski.
But Milford answered with a pair of runs in the fifth, bringing in the equalizer on a wild pitch by reliever Cam Tinnin.
The teams remained even until the 10th, when Keene loaded the bases with two outs and Dean hit a two-strike pitch into the hole on the left side, just beating out the throw from the shortstop to allow Brock Haynes to score.
Jack Riendieu started for Keene and pitched four hitless innings. Tinnin threw two innings, then Gutkowski followed with three shutout innings. Mitch Cormier struck out the side in the top of the 10th and got the win.
In its first game, the 18U Black team committed two costly errors, leading to three unearned runs for starter Noah Timmer.
The second game, against Team Purple, went much better for Team Black. Both teams scored four runs in the first, but then Black broke things open with six in the second en route to its mercy-rule win.
Ryan Deo went 3-for-3 for Black with three RBI, while Gabe Fletcher was 2-for-2 with two RBI. Cam Chamberlain was 2-for-3 with two RBI, and Matt Dodd finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Taylor Letourneau pitched four shutout innings in relief of starter Jacob LaPlume, giving up four hits and striking out eight to earn the win.