The New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game was rained out Sunday. The game in Montpelier, Vt., was scoreless in the third inning when the rains came.
Pregame festivities did take place, and TT Bowens of the Mystic Schooners won the home run derby. Bowens, who plays at Central Connecticut State, hit 24 homers in the championship round to take the title.
Eight Keene Swamp Bats players were on the Northern Division roster, including starters Ryan Hogan (St. John’s) at catcher and David Bedgood (Tulane) in the outfield.
Coming off a heartbreaking 3-1 loss to Martha’s Vineyard before a big home crowd Saturday, the Bats find themselves a half-game back of second place in their division with four regular-season games to play. The first three are on the road starting Monday in Newport. They are in North Adams Tuesday and Ocean State (Wakefield, R.I.) Wednesday. They finish at home against Vermont Thursday.
North Adams leads the division by one game over Upper Valley.
Upper Valley (23-16) will travel to the Sanford Mainers for a make-up game today, then closes with three in a row at home, against Newport and Mystic in a double-header.
Vermont, meanwhile, is just a game and a half back of Keene, in fourth place. So who knows what might be on the line Thursday, when they meet at Alumni Field.
The top three teams in each division advance to the league playoffs, with the division winners earning first-round byes.
Keene, which has lost three straight, is seeking to win its first title since 2013, but will need a strong closing kick just to be able to have that chance.
Before torrential rains arrived Sunday, the Bats’ Logan Mathieu competed in the home run derby and finished third, just missing making it to the finals.
In Newport tonight, with so much on the line over the next four days, Keene hands the ball to Luke Albright. The big right-hander out of Kent State is 4-3 with 51 strikeouts in 40.2 innings pitched.
“We always feel good about putting the ball in Luke’s hands,” Kevin Watterson, the team’s president, said this morning.
Watterson said that, while the final week is challenging, the team has its top four starters ready to go. “No one,” he said, “is being asked to pitch on short rest.”
Besides, Albright, David Johnson, Joseph Simeone and Zach Messinger are waiting for their turns.