PSC splits LEC pair at WCSU

DANBURY, Conn. - Plymouth State College exploded for nine runs and 15 hits in the second game Saturday, defeating Western Connecticut State University 9-2 in the nightcap of a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader.

The host Colonials came from behind with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to capture the opener, 6-5. The split leaves PSC at 8-18 overall and 3-9 in the LEC, while WCSU is now 8-16 and 2-7.

Sophomore Matt Salokangas (New Ipswich, N.H.) had three hits and five other Panthers had two hits each to lead the PSC offense in the nightcap. Sophomore Rob Burr (Concord, N.H.) hit his third home run of the season with a three-run blast in the fifth inning to push PSC to a 7-1 lead. Sophomore Jay Zinis (Manchester, N.H.) had a pair of doubles and two RBI and senior Dakota Smith (Rochester, N.H.) had a double among his two hits.

Junior Kevin Locke (Pike, N.H.) allowed only one run over the first five innings to register the win (2-4), and sophomore Jonathan Rich (Londonderry, N.H.) worked effectively over the final four innings, giving up only four hits and an unearned run, to earn his first save. Carl Rivers took the loss for WCSU.

Trailing 4-1 after seven innings in the opener, PSC rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth to take the lead. Smith tripled in one run and scored on a wild pitch, and Burr drove in two more with a two-out single.

Western answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-run home run by Steve Hordos off PSC reliever Jason Egan (Sharon, Mass.). PSC threatened in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with two outs, but Zinis struck out to end the game.

Salokangas also had three hits to lead PSC in the first game. Burr and sophomore Scott Hodsdon (Somersworth, N.H.) added two hits apiece. Junior pitcher Nate Provencher (Wilton, N.H.) struck out seven over the first seven innings but got a no-decision.

The Panthers, who are in the middle of a string of eight games in six days, return home for a Sunday (Apr. 29) non-conference doubleheader against Castleton State (1 p.m.) at Panther Field.