The Keene Swamp Bats (26-12) scored five times in the first inning against starting pitcher Mike Gallo (3-3) and never looked back, defeating the North Shore Navigators (19-18) 8-3 Sunday at Fraser Field.
The Navigators would have clinched a playoff berth in the 2009 NECBL postseason with a win, but Keene scored eight runs through three innings off Gallo and reliever Glen Misho. North Shore will have another chance to clinch a playoff berth tonight when the Manchester Silkworms visit Lynn for the final time this season.
Swamp Bats starter Dan White (3-3) lasted five innings, allowing three runs without walking a batter. White surrendered a two-run home run to Matt Marquis, his second of the year, to account for two of North Shore’s three runs. Marquis, a 28th-round selection of the Boston Red Sox in the 2008 MLB Draft, has 12 RBI in his last 14 games. Tyler Ruehlman drove in Tre Dennis, who has reached base safely in 29 consecutive games, with the first Navigators run last night. The story of the night for the Navigators, however, was the relief pitching of Glen Misho. Misho allowed one run through 6.1 innings, while striking out five. The UMass-Amherst right-hander retired the final 15 batters to face him, tossing 1-2-3 innings from the fifth to the eighth. Matt Lewis retired the only three batters to face him, giving the Navigators’ bullpen 18 consecutive outs to end the game.
Adam Conley pitched the final four innings to record his first save for Keene. North Shore hopes to clinch a spot in the NECBL playoffs for the second time in as many years when the Manchester Silkworms visit Fraser Field tonight (7) with ace pitcher Jeff Tardiff (3-2, 1.39) on the hill.