FORT MYERS, Fla. - Playing four contests in less than 24 hours to open the season, the Plymouth State University baseball earned a split of those four games Saturday evening and Sunday morning in the annual Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic.
PSU was handed a pair of lop-sided losses Saturday evening in the first two games, 13-2 to UMass Boston and 19-7 to Wayne State (Mich.), but rebounded with a pair of solid victories Sunday over Colby College, 5-4 and 5-2.
The Panthers got off to a rough start on Saturday, surrendering five runs in the top of the first to UMB. It was 13-0 before PSU got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when senior Matt Gabellieri (Lincoln, R.I.) cracked a two-run home run.
PSU had similar troubles in Saturday's nightcap, allowing seven runs in the third inning and never being able to recover. Junior C.J. Rousseau (Merrimack, N.H.) and sophomore Nick Jaskolka (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) had solid games at the plate for the Panthers. PSU came alive with four runs in the final inning, but it was too little, too late.
Coming right back with a 9:00 a.m. start of a doubleheader against Colby Sunday morning, PSU rallied with single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings of the opener to pull out the comeback win. With freshman Billy Post (Danville, N.H./Timberlane) on second in the last of the seventh, sophomore Jamie Aceto (Cumberland, R.I.) bunted Post to third, and when Colby made an error on the play, Post came home with the winning run. That made a winner out of senior John Perkins (Nottingham, N.H./Dover), who allowed four runs in the second inning but settled down and went scoreless the rest of the way while striking out seven.
Post and senior Derek Guimond (Lewiston, Maine) highlighted PSU's win over Colby in the nightcap. Post went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, while Guimond was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, two stolen bases and four runs scored. Freshman Ben Pietro (East Dennis, Mass) earned his first win with a six-hit complete-game effort.
PSU was scheduled to open the season Saturday evening against Luther College, but a change was made at the last minute to due problems suffered by Luther College.
The Panthers have Monday off, returning to action Tuesday with a pair of games - vs. St. Thomas (Minn.) at 3:00 p.m. and vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater at 6:00 p.m.
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