It’s college baseball season in New England, even if it’s still February. The chill in the air didn’t stop Keene State College from playing its opener Thursday at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., but it wasn’t the debut the Owls had hoped for.

They carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but Clark sent 16 batters to the plate and scored 12 runs in a 15-4 Cougars win at Granger Field.

The Owls erased an early 2-0 deficit with a three-run top of the fifth on a single by Sam Czel and a two-run double by Tom Meucci, but their 3-2 lead did not last. Meucci finished 1-for-4 with a double, while Czel was 1-for-4 with a run-scoring single. Jake McMaster had a double and a walk in his Owl debut, while Josh DeFrancsico and Matthew Goldman each had hits. Isaac Keehn started on the mound for KSC, allowing two runs and four hits over five innings, striking out seven in his first start since last year.

The Owls will travel to New York and New Jersey next weekend, beginning with a pair of seven-inning games against Farmingdale State College on Saturday, March 7, at noon.