Split with WCSU costs PSC Baseball an LEC Berth
PLYMOUTH, N.H. - With a Little East Conference post-season berth on the line, Western Connecticut State University captured the second game of an LEC twinbill Sunday over Plymouth State College, earning a spot in Tuesday's LEC Tournament play-in game.
PSC, needing a doubleheader sweep to advance, won the opener, 11-2, but the Colonials came back with a 21-10 victory in the nightcap. WCSU ends the regular season at 8-20 overall and 4-10 in the LEC, while PSC completes its season at 16-17-1 overall and 4-10 in the LEC.
WCSU, the sixth seed in this week's LEC Tourney, will play at third seeded Keene State Tuesday afternoon. PSC actually tied Western Conn. for sixth place in the LEC, but the Colonials won the tiebreaker by defeating third place Keene State and fourth place UMass Dartmouth during the regular season, while the Panthers were swept by both schools.
PSC sophomore ace Jeff Morgan (Laconia, NH) got the job done in the opener, pitching a complete-game victory to improve his record to 6-2. He allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk, striking out eight, and did not allow a run after the first inning.
Freshman Jason Wood (Dover, NH) had three hits, including two doubles, to lead a 14-hit Panther attack. Classmate Jay Zinis (Manchester, NH) had two hits and two RBI, including his fourth home run of the season.
The Colonials scored early and often in the nightcap, plating at least one run in each of the first eight innings. PSC used six different pitchers, but could not control a 22-hit WCSU offense. Senior Jake Kirkland (Headland, AL) led the way, hitting for the cycle and driving in six runs. Freshman Jay Sharkey (Waterbury, Conn.) had four hits and four RBI, and junior Martin Acevedo (Bronx, NY) had three hits and five RBI. Western sophomore Greg Palanzo got the win, pitching 6.1 innings. He got 2.2 innings of relief help from Carl Rivers.
PSC senior Jason Freeman (Manhasset, NY) and freshman Phil Pagan (Nashua, NH) each had three hits, while junior Dakota Smith (Rochester, NH) had a pair of hits and three RBI. Zinis belted his second homer of the day and fifth of the season.
Panther freshman catcher Matt Tupman (Concord, NH) went 2-for-6 in the doubleheader, finishing the season as the team leader in batting average (.414), runs (35), hits (46, tied with Freeman), walks (24) and doubles (13). He also gunned down 12 of 34 potential base stealers, and picked off five base runners.
-- 30 --