Ramon Valdez connected on a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning to power the North Adams SteepleCats to a 6-3 New England Collegiate Baseball League victory against the Keene Swamp Bats before 1,054 fans at Alumni Field Wednesday.
The loss dropped Keene’s record to 13-14 heading into Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. in-state showdown against the host Laconia Muskrats. Keene returns home to play Vermont on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Anthony Papio gave North Adams a second life when his two-out homer in the ninth inning on an 0-2 pitch tied the game at 3-3.
Keene’s offense was powered by solo homers from Jared Mederos and Ryan Summers. Benjamin Criscuolo suffered the mound loss for Keene. Starting Keene pitcher Michael Dunnigan allowed six hits and two earned runs with no walks and a season-high eight strikeouts over 5-2/3-innings. He was one strike away from the mound win until Papio hit his homer in the ninth inning off reliever Matt Clancy.