FORT MYERS, Fla. - It was an unexpected season opener for the Plymouth State University baseball team.
The Panthers were slated to make their debut Saturday with a doubleheader against Saint Lawrence University in the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic. When a winter storm in the Northeast delayed the arrival in Florida of several teams, including Saint Lawrence, PSU was able to schedule a last-minute single game against Haverford College.
Senior Ryan Stephens hit a two-run, bases-loaded double in the top of the 10th inning to lead Haverford to an 11-8 victory over the Panthers. It was the final game of the week for the Fords, who went 8-1 in the Sunshine State and are now 8-2.
Junior Adam White (Somersworth, N.H.) and senior Craig Carpenter (Holderness, N.H./Nashua H.S.) delivered run-scoring singles in the second inning to lead the Panthers to a 4-0 lead. Haverford rallied to take a 5-4 advantage with one run in the third and four runs in the top of the fourth inning.
There were three more lead changes before Haverford knotted the game at 8-8 in the top of the eighth, and Stephens helped the Fords win it in the 10th.
Junior Brandon Hodge (Bradford, Vt./Oxbow) led the Panther bats, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Senior Jamie Aceto (Cumberland, R.I.) chipped in with two hits, including a double and an RBI.
Sophomore Adam Neshe (Framingham, Mass.) started and pitched four innings for the Panthers. Senior Chip Hale (Londonderry, N.H.) worked three innings in relief and took the loss.
The Panthers are back on the diamond Sunday morning with a 9:00 a.m. doubleheader against Fredonia State (N.Y.)
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