In an ugly all-around game for the Keene High baseball team, the Blackbirds fell, 8-4, to Bishop Guertin Friday at Alumni Field in Keene.
Neither starter got through more than two innings, so both teams relied on the depth of their bullpen to get through the game.
Bishop Guertin’s bullpen came through to hang on for the victory and hand the Blackbirds their first loss of the season.
Keene falls to 5-1 while Bishop Guertin moves to 3-3.
By the fifth inning, Keene was already on its third pitcher, each of which had some trouble finding the zone.
“A lot of high pitch counts,” said head coach Dan Moylan.
Junior Sharik Khan started the game, but only got through two innings, giving up two runs on one hit. He was in control at the beginning, recording two quick outs, but then lost control, walking the next batter, and hitting the two following, before giving up a two-RBI double just past a diving Jared Schmitt in leftfield — all with two outs.
Khan settled down, getting out of the inning and pitching a scoreless second inning.
Senior Alex Charles came in to pitch the third, but he only got through 1.2 innings and gave up three runs before he was pulled for sophomore Connor Haas after walking BG’s Jake Mitchell to load the bases.
Haas got out of the bases-loaded jam, pitching into a double play to end the inning, much to the pleasure of the Keene dugout, and the deficit stayed at just one heading into the fourth inning.
“He came in and got the double play ball to get Charles out of the jam,” Moylan said. “Big double play ball.”
Haas went 2.1 innings for the Blackbirds in his varsity debut, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits, including two runs in the seventh that extended Bishop Guertin’s lead to four.
“The positive on the mound was Connor Haas,” Moylan said. “He pitched well enough to hold the game, minus the errors. If we make plays behind him, he gives us at least a shot to steal that game.”
The Keene defense committed four errors total, to be exact. Three came with Haas on the mound. All four errors came in the final three innings.
“Obviously the errors cost us,” Moylan said. “We have to make improvements defensively.”
The offense couldn’t get much going either, scoring four runs in the first two innings — on just two hits — and didn’t cross the plate again for the rest of the game.
They left the bases loaded twice and stranded nine total baserunners.
“We have to take better at-bats with runners in scoring position and less than two outs,” Moylan said. “We can’t strike out looking, we have to get those balls in play.”
The Blackbirds finished with just four hits.
Certainly a lot of improve on before Keene’s game at Merrimack, a historically good program, Monday.
Moylan’s message was pretty clear:
“Overall, we didn’t play well enough to win,” Moylan said. “We expect to play better. We’ll just keep grinding, keep playing.”
The Blackbirds visit Merrimack Monday at 4:30 p.m.