NORTH ADAMS -- The North Adams SteepleCats have lost eight times so far on the season, half of those losses have been at the hands of the Keene Swamp Bats.
After Sunday's 7-1 loss to the Swamp Bats, North Adams finds itself three games behind its rival for first place in the Western Division.
"They are not going to help you out," North Adams manager Bryan Adamski said. "They limit their errors in every game. They don't strikeout, I'm sure they're a league leader in that stat. They put the ball in play, and move runners over."
The Swamp Bats took advantage of their opportunities Sunday. They got an early opportunity against Charlie Law and took advantage of it, scoring in the first inning. Grant Kay walked and then scored on the next pitch when Frankie Schwindel hit an RBI double.
Law settled in after that. He didn't allow another run until the seventh inning. He struck out five Keene batters and gave up just five hits, while walking two. He departed in the seventh with the bases loaded and nobody out.
Reliever Matt Longfield came in and limited the damage, holding the Swamp Bats to just two runs in the inning.
"Matt did a great job in that situation," Adamski said. That was more a credit to their offense taking advantage of the situation."
Cameron O'Brien and Dylan Moore both hit sacrifice fly's to score the runs and put Keene ahead for good.
The damage came just two innings after the
"That's the difference in the game," Adamski said. "A bases loaded situation for each team. They capitalized, we didn't."
Keene then pushed four more runs across in the eighth inning.
The SteepleCats managed to get just seven hits against Joe Pitsorese, who went the distance for Keene. Pitsorese benefited greatly from four double plays his defense turned, including when to get him out of the bases loaded jam in the fifth inning.
"We didn't really execute as many plays in the field as we should have," catcher Shane O'Connell said. "It was a tough loss because we played hard, but we just didn't get it done."
The Swamp Bats have now outscored the SteepleCats 32-14 in five games this season.
"I don't know if it's Keene themselves, I think it's more of our own attitude that we take to the field," O'Connell said. "I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to beat these guys."
Keene has also taken advantage of the opportunities it has had against the SteepleCats.
"It's not that they are a better team than us, we can compete with these guys," O'Connell said. "They just execute in the situations that they need to in order to get it done. Lately, we haven't against them, and that's the reason they are beating us."
The SteepleCats currently are currently two games in front of Vermont for second place in the division.