Box Score | Brian Hunter postgame video comments
NORTH ADAMS, Mass.
– Brian Hunter (Hartford) tossed six solid innings, helping the North Adams SteepleCats to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Keene Swamp Bats in the regular-season finale between the two New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) Western Division rivals on Saturday night at Joe Wolfe Field.
In the team’s first outing since a 7-3 victory at Vermont on Wednesday, the SteepleCats (21-17) assured themselves of a 3-5 finish in eight games against the Swamp Bats (25-12) and moved three games ahead of Vermont for third place in the division.
Hunter (2-0) limited one of the most potent offenses in the league to just one hit over six innings of scoreless baseball, striking out and walking three to win his second-straight decision. That was enough to out-perform Keene starter Zachary Brian (0-1), who allowed four earned runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
The SteepleCat offense manufactured runs early and often, as Jeff Roy (URI) finished the night with two hits and two runs, scoring the first run of the game for the home side in the first before being driven in again in the third.
Charlie Law (Rutgers), meanwhile, drove in a game-high three runs, bringing his team-leading total up to 36 and just three off the league lead of 39. He capped his night off with a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth to stretch the SteepleCats’ lead to 4-0 at the time, while Conor Biggio (Notre Dame) also drove in a run.
North Adams manufactured a run in the bottom of the first to take an early lead, as Roy singled through the right side to lead off the game before moving to second on a balk. After a sacrifice moved him to third, Roy would score on a sacrifice fly blooped down the right field line by Law to give the home side an early 1-0 edge.
Following a scoreless second, Roy again would score in the third after singling to lead off the frame. After stealing second and moving to third on an error, Law again connected on a sacrifice fly to deep center to double North Adams’ lead to 2-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (Barry) added to his league-leading walks total with his 33rd of the year. After stealing second and moving to third on a single, Biggio connected with a bloop single to left to score Planas-Arteaga and upping the edge to 3-0.
Law would then make it 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth, as the 6-foot-7 righty smashed his seventh blast of the year to right center to add to the lead.
After Hunter retired following six strong innings, Law would come in to pitch in the seventh. Keene would finally get on the board by means of an RBI single off the bat of Cameron O’Brien to score Dylan De La Cruz, but Law would work out of the jam to keep it to 4-1.
Following a scoreless eighth, Fran Whitten would make it a three-run game in the top of the ninth with a two-out, solo home run, but that would be the most that Law would yield, as the Rutgers righty earned his first save of the season by striking out the final batter of the game.
The SteepleCats conclude their regular-season series against the Holyoke Blue Sox tomorrow, July 29, in another key Western Division showdown. First pitch from Joe Wolfe Field is set for 6:30 p.m.