Big fifth inning, team pitching, put Keene SwampBats over Bristol Blues

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Jun. 12—The SwampBats are staying hot.

Keene beat the Bristol Blues, 6-3, Saturday night in front of 1,798 at Alumni Field for its fourth consecutive win to start the season.

Jaden Brown gave Keene the lead in the fifth inning with a two-run home run, then let his teammates take care of the rest.

"I was just looking for something to hit," Brown said. "Just trying to be on time and get my hands do it and let the rest happen."

His home run was the second of four straight hits for the SwampBats in that inning. Keene scored four runs in the inning to pull ahead, 5-1.

Colin Wetterau, Brown, Tony Santa Maria and Dan Covino all had hits in the inning, with Covino adding an RBI. Carter Mathison also had an RBI in the inning on a sacrifice fly.

"That one inning, I tried to get them fired up," said Keene coach Shaun McKenna. "And they got fired up. Jaden got into that one."

The Blues started chipping away at that deficit, scoring twice in the sixth inning, and had multiple opportunities to tie, but couldn't get the timely hit. Bristol had the tying run in scoring position twice — once in the seventh inning and again in the eighth. Bristol left 13 runners stranded on the night, 10 in the final four innings.

An RBI single from Wetterau in the eighth inning gave Keene an insurance run and stretched the lead to 6-3.

"That last one was probably a huge run," McKenna said.

Riley Skeen pitched the first four innings for Keene and gave up just one run on three hits with five strikeouts. He left the game in a 1-1 tie before Brown hit the go-ahead home run.

After Skeen's outing was over, Zach Davidson, William Flanagan, Greysen Carter and Parker Murphy ate up the final five innings to finish off the game. Not without some drama, but they got the job done.

"It's a team game," McKenna said. "That was a whole team effort from start to finish.

"Overall, the pitching was really decent," McKenna added. "It's a team game and it was a contribution from everybody today. I'm definitely pleased."

Davidson earned the win and Murphy picked up his second save in as many nights.

Keene moves to 4-0 on the young season.

"We've got a lot of new players here," Brown said. "We're obviously all new to each other, we're still learning each other's names. We just know that we have to show up and just play. We're all good players, just show up and do what we have to do."

Around the horn: Friday was C&S Night, sponsored by C&S Wholesale Grocer ... First 100 fans received a foam finger ... The SwampBats have played four games over four days to start the season, and have one more Sunday before taking Monday off ... Keene heads to Montpelier, Vt. Sunday at 6:30 p.m. to face the Vermont Mountaineers (5-0) ... Caden Leonard of Kent State University will take the mound for Keene Sunday ... The SwampBats are home again Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. against the North Adams SteepleCats (0-4).

Chris Detwiler can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1411, or cdetwiler@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Detwiler.