The Keene Swamp Bats postponed their first scheduled road game, at the Newport Gulls Monday, due to a forecast of heavy rain in the evening in the Newport area.
A makeup date has not been set.
Players from Liberty, Stetson add to Keene’s numbers
Three more players arrived in Keene this week: Liberty University infielders Will Wagner and Logan Mathieu, and Stetson University pitcher Antonio Knowles.
Wagner and Mathieu had been delayed in their arrival due to Liberty’s success in the postseason. The Flames were eliminated in the NCAA Regionals last week, and the pair took a week off to decompress, which is common early in summer league play.
After both players had impressive sophomore campaigns at Liberty — ranking second (Wagner) and third (Mathieu) on the team in slugging percentage — the two are expected to play big roles in the Bats’ offense. Mathieu hit at a .265/.350/.413 clip with seven home runs, 13 doubles and a team-high 51 RBI while playing first base. Wagner — the son of former MLB relief pitcher and seven-time All-Star Billy Wagner — went .303/.381/.445 with a team-high 72 hits, including six homers, 14 doubles, 42 RBI and nine stolen bases while primarily playing second base.
Knowles, whose contract with the Bats wasn’t completed until about a week ago, made just three appearances in his freshman season at Stetson, going 2.2 innings and giving up six earned runs. He is transferring to Florida Southwestern State, according to Bats President Kevin Watterson. He was a high-ranking prospect out of Key West High School in Florida; he was drafted in the 27th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.
Keene falls to North Adams Saturday in one-run contest
In a back-and-forth contest that featured three ties and two lead changes, the Swamp Bats lost the last game of their opening three-game home stretch to the North Adams SteepleCats Saturday, 6-5.
After North Adams took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, Keene (1-2) rallied for three in the third on a leadoff home run by Andrew MacNeil (1-for-4) and a two-run single by Brandon Smith (1-for-3).
The Cats tied things up with two runs in the top of the fourth, but the Bats answered with two of their own in the bottom half — one on a bases-loaded walk by Randy Bednar (0-for-2), one on a fielder’s choice — to retake the lead.
North Adams cut that lead in half on a solo homer by Brian Picone in the fifth, then took back the lead for good in the eighth on an RBI double by Marcus Chavez and an RBI single by Josh Loeffler.
Zach Messinger started on the mound for Keene, going five innings and giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits while striking out eight. Sean Heine threw three innings of relief, giving up two earned runs on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts to wind up with the loss. Cristian Sanchez pitched a shutout ninth inning, walking one and striking out two.