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May 5, 2002

Panthers headed to LEC playoffs

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State College baseball team earned a playoff berth Sunday without playing a game.

The Panthers clinched the sixth and final Little East Conference playoff berth when the University of Southern Maine defeated the University of Massachusetts Boston in a make-up game, 7-6. The outcome dropped UMB into seventh place in the conference with a 3-11 LEC record and lifted PSC, 3-10-1, into sixth. A UMB win over Southern Maine would've given the Beacons the final playoff berth and ended the Panthers' season.

As the sixth seed, PSC, 16-19-1 overall, will travel to third-seeded Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn. this Tuesday for a first-round single-elimination game at 3:00 p.m. The Colonials finished in a tie for third with Keene State (with 9-5 conference records), but owned the tiebreaker over the Owls and earned the third seed in the tournament. Fourth-seeded KSC will host fifth-seeded UMass Dartmouth in Tuesday's other first-round game.

PSC and WCSU split their regular season series, with the Panthers pulling out a 7-6 victory in 10 innings in the opener and the Colonials coming back to take the nightcap with three runs in the ninth, 3-1.

The Panthers also went on the road in the first round of the playoffs last spring, and upset higher-seeded Keene State.

The winners of Tuesday's games will join top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University and second-seeded Southern Maine in the four-team, double-elimination finals that begin Thursday in Mansfield, Conn.

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