PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University baseball team wrapped up its season on a winning note Sunday, defeating the University of Massachusetts Boston, 6-3, in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at Panther Park.
The Beacons had rallied with three runs in the top of the ninth inning to pull out the opener, 4-3. The two-game split leaves UMB with a record of 14-20 overall and 4-8 in the LEC (heading into its regular-season finale Tuesday against Western Connecticut), while PSU completes its campaign at 12-28 overall and 3-11 in conference play.
PSU took a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning of the opener, thanks to some strong pitching by freshman Chip Hale (Londonderry, N.H.). He had allowed only four hits and one unearned run through eight innings. Hale tired in the ninth, giving up singles to senior Paul Tedesco (East Boston, Mass.) and sophomore Jeran Mondalto (Amesbury, Mass.) to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt by senior Chris King (Andover, Mass.), freshman pinch-hitter Derrick Plante (Medford, Mass.) singled up the middle to tie the game. Plante went to second on the throw home, and came around to score the eventual game-winner on a single by freshman Fernando Pena (Peabody, Mass.) off PSU freshman reliever Steve Wheeler (Lancaster, N.H.)
After giving up an unearned run in the first inning, PSU had battled back to take the lead with two runs in the third inning. Freshman Brandon Hodge (Bradford, Vt.) led off with a walk, and an out later classmate John Pogorzelski (Hillsborough, N.J.) singled. Hodge scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Derek Guimond (Lewiston, Maine), and Pogorzelski came across the plate on a single by senior Matt Gabellieri (Lincoln, R.I.). PSU added another run in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Hodge, but UMB rallied to win it in the ninth.
Sophomore Pat Donovan (Lowell, Mass.) picked up the win in relief for the Beacons, allowing only three hits in two-and-two-thirds innings of scoreless relief.
Pena delivered an RBI hit to give the Beacons a 1-0 lead of the nightcap, but PSU came back with two runs in the bottom of the third. Gabellieri knocked in one with an single, and another run came home on a sacrifice fly by junior C.J. Rousseau (Merrimack, N.H.)
The Beacons came back to tie it at 2-2 in the fourth inning on an RBI single by King, but PSU took the lead for good in the fifth on an RBI single by sophomore Trevor Hall (New Boston, N.H.), one of his three hits in the game. The Panthers added three insurance runs in the eighth, the last two coming home on a single by sophomore Steve Campo (Londonderry, N.H.)
Freshman Ryan Lavelle (Middleboro, Mass.) earned the win for PSU, working seven innings and allowing five hits and a walk, two runs (one earned) and fanning four. Wheeler, who set the PSU single-season record this year for pitching appearances (24), pitched the last two innings to earn his first save.
Guimond finished the season as the team's leading hitter, batting .331. He also set a PSU school record this season for runs scored with 50, and led the team in hits (50), walks (27), doubles (12), and stolen bases (22). Rousseau led the team in home runs (2) and RBI (32).
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