PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State College and Rhode Island College split a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday at Panther Field, the Anchormen winning the opener, 8-4, and the Panthers coming back to take the nightcap, 6-4.
It was the first home appearance this season for the Panthers, who played their first 18 games away from Plymouth. The split leaves PSC at 4-16 overall and 2-7 in the LEC, while RIC is now 5-15 overall and 1-7 in the conference.
RIC scored five runs in the third inning of the opener to take a lead it would not relinquish. PSC got on the board in the sixth inning with solo home runs by senior Dakota Smith (Rochester, N.H.) and sophomore Matt Price (Epping, N.H.), the second of the season for Smith and the third for Price. After RIC added three more runs in the eighth, the Panthers mounted a comeback in the ninth but could plate only two. Smith and sophomore Scott Hodsdon (Somersworth, N.H.) finished the game with three hits apiece for PSC.
Freshman Jeff Steere (Gloucester, R.I.) went the distance for RIC to pick up his first win of the season (1-5). Sophomore Nate Provencher (Wilton, N.H.) worked into the eighth inning for PSC and was saddled with the loss (1-4).
The Panthers struck first in the nightcap, pushing five runs across in the fourth inning and adding another in the fifth. Hodsdon led off the fourth with his second home run of the season, and sophomore Matt Salokangas (New Ipswich, N.H.) added a solo shot, his second, in the fifth.
RIC scored three times in the fifth inning, and rallied for one in the ninth, but could not push across the tying run. Junior Kevin Locke (Pike, N.H.) started and earned his first win for PSC (1-4), working six innings and striking out 13, including the first nine batters he faced. Sophomore Jason Egan (Sharon, Mass.) worked two perfect innings of relief, and junior Jeff Morgan (Laconia, N.H.) finished the ninth for his first save. Junior Nick Benoit (Springfield, Mass.) went the distance and took the loss for the Anchormen.
PSC returns to action Tuesday (Apr. 24) with an LEC affair at Keene State (3:00 p.m.), starting a string of eight games in six days. RIC returns home to host Keene State Sunday (Apr. 22) in an LEC doubleheader (12 p.m.).