BANGOR – With hard-throwing lefty Charlie Furbush pitching for Louisiana State University this season, freshman lefty Andrew Keirstead is one of the pitchers who has been asked to help fill the void in the St. Joseph’s College rotation.
Keirstead threw a masterful three-hitter, retiring 18 hitters in a row until Nick Arthers homered to left off him with one out in the seventh, to lead the Monks to a 3-1 win over Husson College in the first game of their doubleheader at the Winkin Baseball Complex.
“My change-up was going well. I pretty much stayed with my fastball and change-up the whole game and kept them off-balance,” said Westbrook’s Keirstead, who struck out six and walked one. “My defense played great behind me.”
The win gave St. Joseph’s the right to host the four-team, double-elimination North Atlantic Conference tournament beginning Friday in Standish.
Husson won the nightcap 8-3 to snap its six-game losing streak.
St. Joseph’s is 27-8 overall, 9-3 in the NAC. The Monks will be the second seed behind Castleton (Vt.) State, which didn’t submit a bid to host the conference tournament.
Husson, 12-20 overall and 7-5 in the conference, will be the third seed and face St. Joseph’s in Friday’s 6 p.m. game.
Castleton State will face the fourth-seeded University of Maine-Farmington in the 2 p.m. opener.
Keirstead threw 60 strikes among his 98 pitches and Arthers’ homer was the first ball Husson hit out of the infield since the first inning.
“His change-up was definitely his best pitch,” said Husson second baseman Danny White. “He threw it well, he threw it for strikes and he kept it low in the zone. It looked like a fastball coming out [of his hand]. He located it so well that every time we made contact, it wasn’t solid or it was right at somebody. It was nasty after the first inning.”
“His change-up dropped right away from right-handed hitters and he hid it well,” said Husson right fielder Brett Garland.
White also said Keirstead had a “live fastball” that tailed away from right-handed hitters.
Keirstead was up with his pitches in the first inning and got out of a second-and-third, one-out jam when Arthers lined to third and Andrew Patterson flew out.
He settled down after that.
Husson lefty Chad Lavway pitched well in defeat, allowing four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
The Monks took a 1-0 lead in the second on a walk, a wild pitch, a groundout and Andrew Wood’s two-out, opposite-field single between first and second.
“That was a good piece of hitting,” said Presque Isle’s Lavway. “He got enough of it to send it through the hole.”
“I went the other way with it with an inside-out swing,” said Wood.
The Monks added two runs in the sixth.
Keil Martin ripped the first pitch into left center for a double.
“I left a fastball out over the plate,” said Lavway.
“I was sitting on a fastball,” said Martin.
One out later, Ben Grant-Roy belted a long triple over center fielder Bryan Biggers’ head to drive in Martin.
“That was a belt-high slider that didn’t break at all for me,” said Lavway.
“I was waiting for him to throw something up in the zone and I drove it,” said Grant-Roy.
Blue Hill’s Mark Clapp then grounded a low fastball through the box for an RBI single after fouling off three two-strike pitches.
Arthers’ third homer of the year came off a 3-2 change-up.
In the nightcap, White and Biggers had three hits apiece; Garland had a pair of hits and White and Adam Sheehan each drove in two runs.
Luke Enman had two hits for St. Joseph’s.
MONKS 3, EAGLES 1
St. Joseph’s (27-7) Husson (11-20)
Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI
Oliver, 2b 3 0 0 0 White, 2b 3 0 0
Martin, lf 3 1 1 0 Sheehan, ss 2 0 0
L. Enman, ss 3 0 0 0 Robicheau, c 3 0 0
Grant-Roy, 1b 2 1 1 1 Arthers, 3b 3 1
Gorsun, pr 0 1 0 0 Patterson, 1b 3 0 0
Adams, c 0 0 0 0 Shannon, pr 0 0 0
Spiller, cf 2 0 0 0 Garland, rf 3 0 0
Clapp, 3b 3 0 1 1 Graham, dh 2 0 0
Wood, c 2 0 1 1 Dowe, ph 1 0 0
Doughty, dh 3 0 0 0 Richard, pr 0 0 0
Burdin, 2b 3 0 0 0 Miller, lf 3 0 0
Biggers, cf 2 0 0 0
Totals 24 3 4 3 Totals 25 1 3 1
St. Joseph’s 010 002 0 – 3
Husson 000 000 1 – 1
E- L. Enman; LOB- St. Joseph’s 3, Husson 4; 2B- Martin; 3B- Grant-Roy; HR- Arthers 3; SB- Spiller
St. Joseph’s IP H R ER BB SO
Keirstead (W, 3-2) 7 3 1 1 1 6
Husson IP H R ER BB SO
Lavway (L, 1-3) 7 4 3 3 2 4
HBP- Wood (by Lavway); WP- Lavway; Keirstead T- 1:50; ATT- 200 (est.)