Vitta Lifts Keene State To 12th Inning Victory Over Eastern
GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore second baseman
Nick Vitta (Spofford, N.H.) hit a seeing-eye single up the middle
to drive in the decisive run in the top of the 12th inning as
second-seeded Keene State edged fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut
State University 4-3 in Game 6 of the 2012 Little East Baseball
Championship this afternoon on the campus of the University of
The Owls (31-11) advance in the championship bracket to face the winner between sixth-seeded Plymouth State University (18-21) and the Warriors (29-12) tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.
Keene State was finally able to solve Eastern senior relief pitcher Jim Dimon (Seymour, Conn.) in the top of the 12th inning. Senior centerfielder Kyle Morrill (Auburn, N.H.) singled up the middle to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a ground out. The Warriors intentionally walked the No.4 hitter Peter Burgio (Bolton, Conn.) to attempt to set up the double play. Eastern's strategy nearly worked as the following batter flied out to right field, but Vitta provided the difference with his lone hit of the contest.
The Warriors would not go quietly in the bottom of the frame as Eastern Connecticut placed the winning run in scoring position. Junior left fielder Drew Accomando (Monroe, Conn.) fueled the two-run surge with a single through the left side of the infield. Eastern Connecticut received an additional out as an Owl infielder made a defensive miscue to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch moved the game-tying run just 90 feet away, while the winning run stood at second base. Keene State junior relief pitcher Tim Quagliaroli (Windsor Locks, Conn.) induced a pop up to second base to keep the Owls as the lone undefeated team in the six-team, championship bracket.
Quagliaroli made his longest relief appearance of the season to collect his sixth victory. The junior from Windsor Locks, Conn. did not allow an earned run, and limited the Warriors to just two hits over 4.2 innings. Senior Tim Thiesing (South Grafton, Mass.) tossed the first seven and a third innings, allowing three runs on five hits.
Dimon provided Eastern with just his third relief appearance of the season, but was the hard luck loser. He held Keene State to just one run on four hits, while recording three strikeouts in five and a third innings. Senior Evan Chamberlain (Amston, Conn.) also produced a quality relief appearance, striking out five in two innings. Sophomore Greg Porter (Mystic, Conn.) earned the start, but gave up two runs on four hits.