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Southern N.H. takes two in Florida from PSU Baseball

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Southern New Hampshire University baseball team continued its best start in program history Thursday by sweeping a doubleheader from in-state rival Plymouth State University. The Penmen blanked the Panthers in both games, as SNHU posted a 2-0 victory in game one and completed the sweep with a 3-0 victory in game two.

            SNHU, which is ranked seventh in the Northeast among Division II schools, improved to 9-2, which ranks as the best start in program history.  The previous best came two years ago when the Penmen won eight of their first 11 games.  PSU dropped to 5-5.

            All the scoring in game one took place in the bottom of the third inning. Freshman Brandon Thomas (Cornwell-Hudson, N.Y.) lined a leadoff single and later scored on an RBI double by senior Tony Aucoin (Southbridge, Mass.)  Sophomore Jessie Goodrich (Canton, Mass.) followed with a single that plated senior Chad Lawrence (Manchester, N.H.), who had singled earlier in the frame.

            Aucoin went 2-for-3 with two doubles to pace the Penmen at the plate, while sophomore Josh Labossiere (Lincoln, R.I.) lined a triple in the first inning for PSU. Senior Joe Johnson (Pelham, N.H.) went the distance on the mound for the Penmen and recorded his first career shutout. He fanned eight, allowed just four hits and did not issue a walk. Sophomore Chip Hale (Londonderry, N.H.) was the hard-luck loser for PSU, as he worked all six innings, allowed just six hits and struck out six.

            The Penmen plated an unearned run in the top of the first in game two and maintained the 1-0 lead until the sixth, when they scored two runs off three hits.  Lawrence opened the frame with a single and advanced to third following a single by Aucoin. Lawrence scored following a sacrifice fly by senior Jeff Kirsh (Gardner, Mass.), and Aucoin scored after sophomore Bill Murray (Canton, Mass.) stroked a RBI single. Lawrence finished the game 2-for-4 to pace the Penmen.

            Labossiere and classmate Doug Urquhart (North Andover, Mass.) both had two hits for PSU. Freshman pitcher Joe Caparrotta (Weymouth, Mass.) made his first career start for SNHU and allowed three hits with six strikeouts over five innings. Freshman Ryan Quinn (Lebanon, Conn.) worked the seventh inning and picked up his second save. Sophomore Jim VanGyzen (Foster, R.I.) took the loss for the Panthers. He allowed five hits, two earned runs and fanned six over six innings.

            Both teams close out their one-week stay in the Sunshine State Friday at 9:00 a.m., as SNHU takes on Northeast-10 Conference rival Southern Connecticut in a single game and PSU battles Sewanee (Tenn.) in a twinbill.

  Courtesy of SNHU Sports Information) -- 30 --