After a weekend of round-robin division play, two Greater Keene Babe Ruth teams have advanced to the bracket rounds of New England regional tournaments.
The 13 and under team, after going 2-1 and earning the No. 2 seed in Division B, qualified for the quarterfinals. It will face North Providence-Smithfield (R.I.), the No. 3 seed from Division A, tonight at 7 at Cubeta Stadium in Stamford, Conn.
The 15 and under team went 3-0, taking first place in Division B and earning a bye into the semifinals. The team will play Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Bullens Field in Westfield, Mass., against the winner of a quarterfinal contest matching North Providence-Smithfield and Greater Portland (Maine).
The 15U squad — which won the New England 13U tourney two years ago and finished as the 14U runner-up last year — earned a relatively sloppy win over Braintree (Mass.) Saturday, 13-9, as multiple players dealt with heat exhaustion. The team returned to its dominant ways Sunday, beating Pittsfield (Mass.) in six innings, 15-2.
In Saturday’s game, Tucker Brown led the offense out of the leadoff spot, going 3-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and two RBI, while Liam Conley went 2-for-5 with three RBI and Jack McLaughlin was 1-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Connor Branon went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and also pitched the first three innings. McLaughlin threw 1.1 innings of relief, and Conley pitched the final 2.2.
On Sunday, Conley kept things up at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, three runs and two RBI, while Branon went 3-for-4 with a double, three runs and two RBI. Alex Charles was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, Jared Schmitt went 1-for-4 with two RBI and Brown finished 1-for-2 with two runs.
Jacob Kidney had a stellar day on both sides, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and three RBI while also pitching the first four innings. McLaughlin pitched the final two in relief.
The 13U team lost to Pittsfield Saturday in six innings, 11-1, but bounced back with a five-inning win over Plymouth (Mass.) Sunday, 11-0.
On Saturday, Pittsfield put together a six-run rally in the third, then added two in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to clinch the mercy-rule win over Keene.
In Sunday’s game, Keene put the game away with a 10-run first inning against Plymouth, then added one in the fourth for good measure.
Jack Riendeau led Keene’s offense Sunday with three hits and three RBI, while Joel Beard tallied two RBI and Evan Gutkowski recorded three hits and one RBI. Brock Haynes threw a five-inning shutout, allowing one hit and striking out six.