The Keene Swamp Bats stood tall against a hot Vermont team Tuesday night, snapping the Mountaineers’ nine-game win streak with an 8-3 victory at Montpelier Recreation Field.
Keene improves to 10-7 and moves into a tie with the Upper Valley Nighthawks (11-8) for third place in the Northern Division; Vermont falls to 12-8 and stands in second place. The Bats are one game behind division-leading North Adams (12-7).
Keene starter Paul Kosanovich (1-1, 4.18 ERA) pitched an eight-inning gem, giving up three unearned runs on seven hits and one walk with seven strikeouts to earn his first win in four outings. Cristian Sanchez pitched a shutout ninth inning, giving up two walks.
The Bats struck first in the second inning, when Kyle Ball hit a single to right-center that drove in David Matthews. That run broke a three-game streak of opposing teams scoring first on Keene.
The Mountaineers answered and took a 2-1 lead in the third, capitalizing on an error at short by Ball to score later in the inning on a fielder’s choice and on a double-steal.
But the Bats went ahead for good with a four-run rally in the fourth inning.
Randall Bednar led with a home run to left — his second dinger of the season and second in two days. A double to right by Matthews drove in Ryan Hogan, and two batters later, Ball ripped a double of his own down the third-base line to score Matthews and Brandon Smith.
Keene scored two more in the seventh — one by David Bedgood and one by Hogan, both on passed balls — and Bedgood scored one more on a passed ball in the ninth.
The Bats hold their “Independence Eve” game tonight against the Danbury Westerners, with gates opening at 4 and the first pitch set for 6:30. Pre-game festivities include a bounce house, a photo booth, a dove release, a performance by Northern Lights cheerleading teams, and a fireworks show after the game.