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Archmere baseball downs Newark Charter behind solid outing by pitcher Matt Keen: Photo gallery

Matt Keen threw six innings of one-run baseball for the Auks. Here, he throws a pitch to Newark Charter's Ty Mayer. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

CLAYMONT — Archmere broke open a close game with a four-run fifth inning in a 6-1 victory over Newark Charter in Diamond State Athletic Conference baseball on May 10. It was the Auks’ fourth win in their last five games.

Patriots starting pitcher Sam Bilinsky threw 2.2 perfect innings before the Auks’ Alex MacWilliams singled to short right field for their first baserunner. He came around to score when the next batter, Chris Albero, sent a booming double up the hill to the base of the fence in left center. Albero manufactured the second run of the inning, stealing third, then coming home when the throw skipped into left field.

Archmere tacked on four more in the fifth, chasing Bilinsky.

Mark Chua reached on an error to begin the inning. Tom Penrod walked, and the pair executed a double steal. After a strikeout, Albero was walked intentionally to load the bases. Matt Keen made Newark Charter pay for that decision, drilling a two-run double to left center that knocked in a pair.

Aidan Kutch came in to relieve Bilinsky, and Nick Zhu greeted him with a base hit to center, bringing in another run. Finally, Andrew Parker lifted a sacrifice fly to center. Archmere reloaded the bases, but Kutch got out of the inning with a strikeout.

Keen, the Auks’ starting pitcher, worked out of trouble in the first, but for the most part he was in control. After a two-out single by the Patriots’ Jordan Niefield in the second, Keen retired the next eight batters until Niefield singled down the left-field line. He wasn’t overpowering, but he did not need to be. His defense was solid behind him, with the outfielders tracking several long flies, and the infield gobbling up ground balls.

Kutch spoiled the shutout bid in the sixth inning when he smacked a solo home run to right field.

Those extra runs the Auks scored in the fifth helped keep the stress level down among the Auks’ faithful in the seventh. Jon O’Boyle came in to pitch the inning, and after retiring the first two hitters, he struggled with his command, walking the next three. Kutch was up next, but O’Boyle was able to coax him into a fly ball to left, and the Auks left as winners.

Albero was on base three times — with two hits — scored twice and drove in a run. Keen had two RBI and also scored. On the mound, Keen scattered four hits and struck out four. The Auks (10-5) travel to Caesar Rodney on Friday at 4:15 p.m.

Kutch had two of the Patriots’ hits and scored their run. Bilinsky struck out five in 4.1 innings. Newark Charter fell to 8-6 and is home on Friday for a 3:45 p.m. matchup with Indian River.

All photos by Mike Lang.