Thursday, July 3, 2008
LIVE: After another bout with rain, Navs and Swamp Bats underway in Keene
Welcome to Keene's Alumni Field, where your first place Navs are getting ready for a key divisional battle with the Swamp Bats. We dealt with some heavy rain at about 5:30 PM, but it's moved through now, and the field looks ready for baseball.
The Navigators continue to be red hot on the hill, improving their league-best ERA to 1.97 after last night's victory over the Vermont Mountaineers. Meanwhile, the Swamp Bats have cooled off, amassing a 5-5 record since their 7-1 start to the year.
North Shore Navigators (13-6) @ Keene Swamp Bats (12-6)
Tonight's pitching matchup:
KEE: Sean McDermott (0-0, 2.45 ERA, 5 G, 0 GS, 7.1 IP, 4 ER, 24 K, 6 BB)
NSR: Adam Herter (3-0, 0.89 ERA, 3 GS, 20.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 K, 4 BB)
NSR 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 0 --- 7 12 2
KEE 0 3 4 3 0 0 1 1 --- 12 18 2
-9:51 PM: Graham grounds out to end the ballgame and Keene wins a wild one, 12-7.
-9:42 PM: Keene adds one on an RBI groundout in the 8th, 12-7.
-9:39 PM: Swamp Bat record attendance of 6,389 tonight - not a misprint. And based on what I'm seeing here, it's definitely accurate. What a crowd.
-9:33 PM: New Guy and UConn Husky John Folito is in to pitch for the Navs in the 8th. Folito joined the roster today after Peter Fatse left for the Holyoke Sox.
-9:31 PM: Trent's infield hit breaks the NECBL season record for hits in a game between two teams, and makes it 11-7. Costello then strikes out looking to end the threat after a big inning for the Navs.
Dark pictures 'r us.
-9:28 PM: What do you know - the Navs have a 5 run inning going. It could have been an even bigger threat, but Justin Little grounded into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and nobody out. North Shore currently has the bases loaded with 2 out for Derek Trent.
-9:24 PM: Ryan Boden is yanked from the game in favor Adam Kolarek. Booen failed to retire a single batter, is currently charged with 3 runs, and is responsible for the two men on base here for the Navs with pinch hitter McConnell at the plate.
-9:20 PM: An infield hit by Tyler Kuehl gives the Navs' their 10th hit of the game, tying an NECBL season high for total hits in a game by both teams (28). North Adams and Lowell combined for 28 on June 25.
-9:19 PM: Matt "Elvis" Costello drops a 3 run bomb to right center, and it's 10-4. Costello continues to hit .500 so far in three games this season.
-9:14 PM: The Swamp Bats have tied an NECBL season high for hits in a game with 18. Keene did it earlier in the year against Lowell on June 10, and Pittsfield dropped 18 hits on hapless Danbury on June 9.
-9:13 PM: Krull strands three, getting Westlake to fly out to end the inning. Time for the 10 run 8th inning rally.
-9:11 PM: They have air horns and everything. What is this, a Northeastern hockey game? The night of fun continues for Keene as Chester bloops an RBI single to make it 11-1.
-9:09 PM: These fans are out for blood. With a 10-1 lead, they are cheering loudly for their team to tack on even more, as they have the bases loaded here in the 7th. Great atmosphere.
-8:52 PM: Krull pitches a scoreless 6th and it remains 10-1. This place is absolutely packed tonight - all the bleachers and all the lawn chair areas are jammed. I'm told that Keene doesn't have an official town fireworks display for the 4th, so the Swamp Bats' fireworks show is where it's at.
The Navs lining up for the national anthem before the game.
-8:43 PM: Belcher lines an RBI double to left to get the Navs on the board. It's good to see Belcher's bat coming alive.
-8:40 PM: McDermott has been lifted in favor of righthanded reliever Tom Cote here with two outs and two runners on in the 6th. The line on McDermott: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R (so far, but he's responsible for two), 3 K, 2 BB.
-8:31 PM: Adams strikes out the side in the 5th.
-8:23 PM: Kent Graham hits a 1-out triple but is stranded there after a K by Kyle Geason and a groundout by Justin Little. 10-0 thru 4 1/2.
-8:09 PM: Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the Navs' league leading under-2 ERA, as Keene's doing a number on it tonight. Josh Chester just dropped another 3 run bomb on the Navigators to make it 10-0, Keene.
-8:04 PM: The 4th started promisingly as McNaughton and Costello each hit singles, but Kuehl grounded into a double play and Belcher grounded back to the pitcher to end the threat. 7-0 after 3.5.
-7:58 PM: Adams strikes out Macias, ending the 3rd and closing the book on Herter. 2 2/3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER.
-7:56 PM: This will be Adams' first outing since being moved to the bullpen after his last start, a 2.1 inning outing in Pittsfield on June 25.
-7:53 PM: Herter's done after Franco Valdes drops a 2 RBI double off the chalk in right field, fair by centimeters. 7-0 Keene. Mike Adams in to pitch for North Shore.
-7:49 PM: Cliff Hicks smashes a 2 run homer off the digital scoreboard in right-center to make it 5-0 Keene.
-7:41 PM: Provencher pops out to right to end the inning.
-7:40 PM: 19 hits, 19 singles - Little extends the streak with an infield single to the left of the pitcher's mound. 1st & 3rd, 2 out for Provy.
-7:37 PM: With 2 outs in the top of the 3rd Kyle Geason gets the hardest hit I've seen from him all year, ringing a double to right. Little's up now with a man in scoring position.
-7:29 PM: No escape this inning - the University of Florida's Evan Chambers drops a two run bomb over the left field wall to put Keene up, 3-0.
-7:24 PM: Cliff Hicks rolls a single into center to put Keene up 1-0.
-7:21 PM: Paul Karmas leads off the home half of the second with a laser beam triple to the corner in right field.
-7:14 PM: Adam Herter "continues to find the most creative ways to get out of innings," says my colleague Zander Kean. With a runner on first and one out, Josh Chester hit a chopper to short. The flip to second was in time, and the runner was called for interference, causing an automatic out at first base. If you watched last night's Red Sox game, the same thing happened with Julio Lugo against the Rays.
-7:09 PM: North Shore goes down quickly in the first, with Little, Provencher, and McNaughton all grounding out.
-7:01 PM: We're set to get underway here. The Swamp Bats have a real ACC connection, with 7 ACC guys on the roster.
-6:43 PM: This pitching matchup is very interesting. Despite his outstanding numbers (3-0, 0.89 ERA) Herter hasn't exactly been dominant this year - opponents are hitting .299 against him, and he's allowed 5 unearned runs in addition to the 2 earned - but he has been excellent at getting out of jams and keeping opponents off the board.
Meanwhile, Keene starter Sean McDermott is making his first start after five solid appearances out of the bullpen. Opponents are hitting .111 against McDermott.
-6:28 PM: It's still clear and dry here and it looks as of now like we should be okay for a 7 PM start.
-6:05 PM: Welcome to Keene, where we're facing... you guessed it... rain. We drove through some severe storms about a half hour before pulling in to the ballpark; the storms have moved through, but the rain was hard enough to cancel batting practice. It looks like another band of storms is about 20 minutes away.
The good news is that the field seems to be taking the rainfall very well, so unless these storms are really hard, we should be okay to play.