MANSFIELD, Conn. - Three Plymouth State College baseball players were selected to the Little East Conference All-Tournament Team Sunday after leading the Panthers to two upset victories in three games.
PSC's All-Tournament Team selections were starting pitchers Ben DuBois (Franklin, NH) and Adam DeChristopher (Brockton, MA) and center fielder Josh Egan (Sharon, MA).
The Panthers won two of three games in the double-elimination tourney, but the remaining games were washed out by heavy rains. Eastern Connecticut was declared the tournament champion on the basis of being the only 3-0 team in the tourney, and PSC and Southern Maine tied for second with 2-1 records.
Game #9, the elimination contest between Plymouth State and Southern Maine, started Saturday evening. Two minutes and one batter after the game began, a downpour hit the ECSU Baseball Stadium and the game was halted and resumed Sunday morning. This time the teams made it through three innings before being halted, with PSC scoring four runs in the bottom of the third inning to even the score at 4-4. After another hour delay, tournament officials canceled the remainder of play.
Among the eight games played in the tournament, the top two pitching performances were turned in by PSC's DuBois and DeChristopher. The two righthanders shut down the conference's top two hitting teams as the fourth- seeded Panthers registered upset wins over third-seeded UMass Dartmouth and second-seeded Southern Maine.
DuBois allowed only one unearned run over nine innings in PSC's opener Thursday night, as the Panthers surprised UMass Dartmouth, 3-1. He scattered nine hits, walking one and striking out five, and improved his record to 4-3. He lowered his league-leading earned run average to 2.75, surrendering an unearned run the first inning when a UMD runner scored on a PSC throwing error. DuBois blanked the conference's top hitting team the rest of the way, becoming only the third pitcher to pitch a complete game against UMD this season and closing out the game himself by starting a 1-6-3 double play in the ninth.
DeChristopher scattered five hits and two walks in Friday's complete-game victory as PSC knocked off defending LEC and NCAA Division III champion Southern Maine, 3-2. This performance came just six days after he hit three batters and was rocked for six runs in the first inning against the Huskies, his worst outing of the season. DeChristopher was outstanding from start to finish Friday, retiring the first five USM batters and nine of the last 10. No Husky runner reached second base after the sixth inning, as DeChristopher threw 67 strikes among his 104 pitches. He surrendered only single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Egan played a key roll in both Panther victories. He smacked a two-out home run in first inning against UMD, his eighth of the season, to give PSC a 1-0 lead, and PSC went on to win 3-1 with all four runs coming in first inning and a half. He came back with a fourth inning RBI double against Southern Maine, and then came around to score to put the Panthers ahead 2-0 in a game they won 3-2. He also snuffed out a Husky rally in the second inning by throwing out a USM baserunner trying to go from first to third on a single.
The 2-1 record in the tournament leaves PSC with a final overall record of 20-19 under head coach Dennis McManus. The Panthers have won 20 games four straight seasons, and qualified for the post-season nine times in 14 years under McManus.
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