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PSC Baseball to meet UMD in LEC Tournament Opener

PLYMOUTH, NH -- The Plymouth State College baseball team will send a veteran hitting and defensive squad along with a young and inexperienced pitching staff to the 1999 Little East Conference Tournament, beginning Thursday in Mansfield, Conn.

The third-seeded Panthers will meet fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth (14-20-1) in Game Three of the double-elimination tournament, scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Thursday (May 13) at the ECSU Baseball Stadium, hosted by Eastern Connecticut State. The other contests slated for Thursday include #6 Rhode Island College (11-21) vs. #1 Eastern Connecticut (24-13) in Game One at 12 noon, and #5 Keene State (22-17) vs. #2 Southern Maine (30-11) in Game Two at 3:30 p.m.

Plymouth State captured third place in the LEC regular season race, finishing 9-5 in conference games and 19-16-1 overall under veteran coach Dennis McManus. PSC was the third seed in last year's tournament, and finished runner-up to ECSU after posting victories over #4 UMass Dartmouth and #2 Southern Maine.

The Panthers and Corsairs split this season's doubleheader, back on Apr. 10th in Plymouth. UMD took the opener 3-2, but PSC rebounded to take the nightcap, 14-9.

"This is one of the best hitting and defensive ballclubs we've had at Plymouth State," said McManus. "We played a strong tournament last year, and we hope for a repeat performance this season. We're hoping our experienced line-up can help our young pitchers come through."

The Panthers are one win away from posting their fifth consecutive 20-win season. PSC has already set several school team records this season, including most hits and runs in a game and most hits and total bases in a season. The defense has also gotten into the act, registering a school-record 37 double plays.

"I think we finished up strong enough to make some noise in the tournament," said PSC senior captain, lead-off hitter and starting shortstop Todd Steffanides (Fitchburg, MA). "We've got a lot of guys who played last year who understand what the tournament is about. That experience should help us."

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