MANSFIELD, Conn. - Plymouth State College's run in the Little East Conference baseball tournament came to an end Saturday with a 17-0 loss to defending LEC and NCAA champion Eastern Connecticut State University. The Panthers, who finish 1-2 in the double-elimination tourney, complete the campaign with a 20-18-1 overall record for veteran coach Dennis McManus.
"There's not much you can say after a game like this," said McManus, who is now 267-250-2 record in 15 years at PSC. "We ran out of pitching, and they are a good hitting team. They also had a lot of incentive in today's game, because they are on the bubble for making the NCAA Tournament."
ECSU pounded out an LEC Tournament-record 23 hits off six PSC rookie pitchers, including six doubles and three home runs. Sophomore Nick Tempesta led the way for the Warriors, going 4-for-5 with three doubles, a home run, and four RBI.
The Panthers used six pitchers Saturday and eight in the tournament, six of whom are freshmen and all eight are first-year players.
"I told the guys to forget this game," said McManus, "especially our nine seniors. We've won 20 games all four years they were here, and one game does not wipe that out."
The Warriors scored two runs in the first inning and another in the second off PSC freshman starter Jim Arguimbau (Sharon, MA). They added five more runs in the fourth off freshman Chris Mann (Leominster, MA), two off classmate Jon Albertini (Franklin, MA) in the fifth, and seven off Marc Petz (Woodstock, CT) in the seventh. Sophomore Mike Orlosky (Middleboro, MA) and junior Arlan Freeman (Portland, ME) got the final nine outs, keeping ECSU from doing more damage.
ECSU starter Michael Chadwick worked seven innings, allowing just five hits and striking out four. Reliever Jason Wolfradt gave up two hits in the final two innings.
PSC senior Todd Steffanides (Fitchburg, MA) went 2-for-4 with his school-record 17th double of the season, finishing the season with a team-high .395 batting average. He also established PSC marks for hits (64) and runs scored (46) in a season. Junior Corey Mastin (Newmarket, NH) went 2-for-4 to finish up at .322, and sophomore Dakota Smith (Rochester, NH) had one hit to wrap up a .378 campaign.
"If you're a good enough team to make the post-season like we did," said McManus, "then unfortunately, only one team can win its final game: the national champion. So we have to forget about today and focus on the season we had."
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