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March 22, 2004

PSU Baseball drops four games on Florida trip

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Plymouth State University baseball team got off to a rough start on its spring trip, playing four games in less than 24 hours Sunday night and Monday morning in the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic, and dropping all four contests.

The Panthers were handed 9-2 and 12-0 setbacks in a doubleheader Sunday night against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Monday morning's twinbill wasn't much better, as PSU dropped 15-1 and 20-10 verdicts to Bethel College (Minn.).

Plymouth State is winless in four outings on the trip, while Bethel is now 7-1. Wisconsin-Whitewater, which is ranked 26th in the country this spring after finishing 35-9 last season and advancing to the NCAA Regional finals, improved to 3-1.

UWW plated three runs in the fifth and sixth innings of the opener to pull away from the Panthers. PSU senior Josh Forest (Manchester, N.H./Trinity) allowed six runs in five innings and took the loss. Junior Vinny Smith (Alvord, Iowa) and sophomore C.J. Rousseau (Merrimack, N.H.) contributed RBI hits for the Panthers in the losing effort, and freshman Trevor Hall (New Boston, N.H.) added a pair of hits.

Senior Mike Bradbury (Chatham, Mass.) lasted only four innings for PSU in the nightcap against Wis.-Whitewater, and was handed the loss. The offense was limited to four hits, two by junior John Perkins (Nottingham, N.H.).

Bethel scored at least one run in each of the first five innings of the first game against Plymouth State, knocking senior starter Steve Libera (Cromwell, Conn.) out of the contest. Senior Nick Libera (Cromwell, Conn.) accounted for PSU's only run with a pair of singles and an RBI.

The Panther offense finally came alive in the second game against Bethel, taking a 9-7 lead in the fourth inning. The Royals came back with five runs in the fifth inning and then put the game out of reach with eight runs in the seventh inning. Freshman Kalen Kangas (Claremont, N.H.) didn't get past the fifth inning and was handed the loss. Senior Jay Morgan (Laconia, N.H.) led the Panther offense with a two-run homer and junior Derek Guimond (Lewiston, Maine) contributed a pair of hits, including a double, and three RBI.

PSU has an off day on Tuesday, and will return to action Wednesday with single games against Kalamazoo (Mich.) at 9:00 a.m. and Otterbein (Ohio) at 12:00 p.m.

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