After falling in back-to-back games, the Keene Swamp Bats got back on track at Alumni Field Thursday night, edging the Mystic Schooners in a crisply-played inter-division match, 4-3.
Mystic, now 10-5, came into the game with the best record in the NECBL.
The Bats (8-6) scored the winning run in the eighth inning, when second baseman Mitchell Golden reached on an error by Schooners shortstop Isaiah Byars, allowing third baseman Will Wagner to cross the plate.
Keene’s other three runs came from catcher Ryan Hogan. A mid-season transfer from the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks and a redshirt sophomore at St. John’s University, Hogan drove to Keene during the day, then hit a three-run home run to left in the second inning. His blast drove in shortstop Kyle Ball and right fielder Tommy Joseph to put the Bats up 3-1.
Mystic took a 1-0 lead in the first on a long solo homer by Terry Bowens, then added two more runs on a solo shot in the fifth and an RBI double in the seventh, both by Byars.
Luke Albright started for Keene and went 6.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts, increasing his league-leading number of strikeouts to 30.
Albright left after Byars tied the game in the seventh, handing the ball to Marc Davis. Davis who threw 1.2 shutout innings, giving up one hit and two walks and striking out two to earn the win. Justin Willis pitched the ninth, giving up a walk and striking out one for the save.
With the win, the Bats move into a precarious third-place spot in the Northern Division, a half-game behind the second-place Valley Blue Sox (8-5) and a half-game ahead of the fourth-place Upper Valley Nighthawks (8-7).
Keene hosts Valley at Alumni Field tonight at 6:30.
— Sentinel Staff