HOLYOKE, Mass. — Perhaps they should wear the black uniform tops all the time.
The Keene Swamp Bats remained undefeated on the road this season, carving out an 8-6 victory over the second-place Valley Blue Sox at venerable Mackenzie Stadium Sunday night.
The Bats are 4-0 in their black shirts that they don for road games, while they are 2-4 in their purple jerseys at home.
Of course, it’s really a matter of execution and Sunday night they recorded a solid victory against one of the league’s best teams. And this on a night when the Bats didn’t pick up their first hit until the fifth inning. They went on to score five runs in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead.
Although Valley cut it to 6-5 with a three-spot in the bottom of the frame, relievers Sean Heine and Marc Davis combined to allow only one run the rest of the way. Heine pitched three innings of one-run, two-hit baseball to collect the win and Davis finished the job with two scoreless innings, registering four strikeouts.
Davis, who attends Florida Southwestern State, was actually drafted this year as a third baseman by the Chicago Cubs but is lending a hand in Keene as a relief pitcher. He has struck out nine in four relief appearances, pitching five innings.
David Johnson started for the Bats, and gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings.
Once again Keene’s top of the order — call them the Triple Bs — had another big night. David Bednar, Kyle Ball and Randall Bednar had a combined five hits, five runs scored and three RBI. Logan Mathieu also had a productive night in the seventh slot, going 2-for-3 with two RBI, two walks and a key double in the five-run fifth.
The Bats (6-4) now have two straight home games against Northern Division Leader North Adams (8-3). Going from one of the biggest parks in the New England Collegiate Baseball League to one of the smallest, they face the SteepleCats tonight and Tuesday at 6:30 at Alumni Field. Tonight is a makeup game of one rained out earlier this season.