PSU Baseball splits first two games in Florida

            FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Plymouth State University baseball team opened the 2008 season with a pair of high-scoring affairs Saturday evening, splitting a doubleheader with the University of Scranton at the annual Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic.

            The Panthers scored nine runs in the first inning of the nightcap and went on to capture an 11-6 victory to earn the split.  The Royals plated 10 runs over the final two innings of the first game, breaking a 7-7 tie en route to a 17-9 triumph.

            The opener was close for the first five innings.  PSU took of 4-1 lead through three innings, but the Royals came back with three runs in the fourth inning to knot the score.  Each team scored three more runs in the fifth inning, but Scranton pulled away with five-run innings in the sixth and seventh.

            Juniors Josh Roberti (Cranston, R.I.) and Kevin Levandowski (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) led the Panther batters with three hits apiece. Roberti had a two-run double and knocked in four runs in the game, while Levandowski added a pair of RBI.  Justin Champagne led the Royal offense, going 4-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI.

            PSU jumped on Scranton in the nightcap with the nine-run first inning and never looked back.  Senior John Pogorzelski (Hillsborough, N.J.) led the Panther offense in the game, going 3-for-4 with a double and three runs batted in, while senior Jim VanGyzen (Glocester, R.I./Ponaganset) contributed an RBI double.  Junior starter Taylor Ketchum (Fairhaven, Mass.) recorded the win on the mound for the Panthers, working four innings and allowing one run on one hit and five walks while striking out three.

            PSU, 1-1, gets right back into action Sunday in Florida with a 4:00 p.m. doubleheader against Salve Regina University.

-- 30 --