Panther Baseball splits pair in Florida

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Plymouth State University baseball team split a pair of games Wednesday in the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic, picking up its first victory of the season with a 4-3 extra-inning triumph over Kalamazoo College (Mich.) before falling to Otterbein College (Ohio) in the second game, 5-3.

The Panthers are now 1-5 on the season, while Otterbein improves to 8-3. Kalamazoo came back from its loss to PSU to defeat Washington & Jefferson, 8-2, for its first win of the season (1-9).

PSU came back from a 3-0 deficit to force extra innings against Kalamazoo, plating two runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth. The Panthers scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a suicide squeeze play by junior Matt Gabellieri (Lincoln, R.I.).

Junior Vinny Smith (Alvord, Iowa) and senior Jay Morgan (Laconia, N.H.) also had key hits for the Panthers, and junior Derek Guimond (Lewiston, Maine) pitched three innings of one-hit, no-run relief to earn the victory. Freshman Tim Conway (Bedford, N.H.) had a solid start, surrendering only five hits and two earned runs in six innings.

Plymouth State fell behind Otterbein 3-1 after two innings, but stayed in the game due to the pitching by freshman Jamie Aceto (Cumberland, R.I.), who was making his collegiate debut. PSU rallied with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but the Cardinals held on for the win after scoring two insurance runs in the sixth.

Aceto took the loss despite working the complete game and allowing seven hits and three earned runs in six innings. Junior John Perkins (Nottingham, N.H.) and freshman Trevor Hall (New Boston, N.H.) paced the Panther offense with two hits apiece.

PSU is right back into action Thursday with a 9:00 a.m. doubleheader against Lawrence University (Wisc.).

-- 30 --