FORT MYERS, Florida - The annual spring trip to the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic ended in disappointing fashion for the Plymouth State College baseball team Friday when the Panthers were on the short end of three games in one day.
PSC dropped a regularly scheduled afternoon doubleheader with Trinity College (Conn.), 5-4 and 10-3. The Panthers then played a make-up game in the evening against Messiah College (Pa.), and fell in extra innings, 8-6. PSC finishes the trip with a 1-8 record.
The Panthers nearly pulled out the first game against Trinity. Trailing 5-4 in the last inning, PSC loaded the bases but could not push across the tying run. Freshman Brad Wilby (Haddonfield, N.J.) took the loss for PSC to fall to 0-1. Freshman Chris Stauffeneker (West Burke, Vt.) had two of PSC's six hits.
PSC led Trinity 3-2 midway through the second game, but the Bantams exploded for four runs on five hits in the fifth inning and Andrew Friemuth added a three-run home run in the seventh inning to put the game away for Trinity. Sophomore Owen Burke (Sanbornton, N.H.) took the loss for PSC. Sophomore Jay Zinis (Manchester, N.H.) had a pair of hits for the Panthers, and sophomore Matt Price (Epping, N.H.) chipped in with a home run and two RBI.
Trailing Messiah 3-0 in the third inning, the Panthers scored five runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 5-3 lead. Both teams added solo runs in the fourth inning, and the Falcons added a pair in the top of the sixth to knot the game at 6-all. Messiah pulled out the game with two runs in the ninth, and PSC couldn't match it in the bottom of the ninth.
Senior Dakota Smith (Rochester, N.H.) led the Panther offense with three hits, including a double and a triple. Zinis and sophomore Scott Hodsdon (Somersworth, N.H.) each drove in a pair of runs. Junior Nate Provencher (Wilton, N.H.) took the loss (0-2) despite a solid outing, allowing five hits and two earned runs in six innings while striking out five.
PSC is uncertain of its next game, due to the New England weather and field conditions. Tuesday's scheduled home game against Lyndon State has been moved to May 2nd as part of a doubleheader at Lyndon State. Wednesday's scheduled home game against Saint Anselm could be played at a neutral site. The Panthers are slated to open the Little East Conference slate next Saturday, Mar. 31, with a twinbill at defending regular season co-champion Eastern Connecticut (12 p.m.).