PSU Baseball splits pair at UMass Dartmouth

            NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Plymouth State University baseball team scored 18 runs on 19 hits Sunday afternoon to win the opening game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 7-2, but the Panthers had to settle for a split of the twinbill after dropping the nightcap, 14-4.

            The biggest highlights of the day for PSU were provided by junior Kevin Levandowski (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton), who drove in eight runs in the opener with three hits, including two home runs. The eight RBI is one short of PSU's single-game record. Senior Jim VanGyzen (Glocester, R.I.) also had two hits, including a home run, and four RBI in the Panther victory.

            Plymouth State used three big innings to win the opener. Freshman Matt Koban (Bradford, N.H.) singled in two runs and Levandowski hit a two-run homer in a five-run fourth. Levandowski hit a grand slam homer with two out in the four-run fifth, and Levandowski, junior third baseman Jay Kleponis (Reading, Mass.) and VanGyzen each drove in two runs in a six-run ninth.

            Junior Casey Askeland (Dartmouth, Mass.) homered twice for the Corsairs, a solo shot in the second and a two-run blast in the fourth. Freshman Ryan McDermott (Pembroke, Mass.) singled in a run and Grillo doubled home two more in a five-run sixth as UMass Dartmouth cut the PSU advantage to 10-9. But PSU scored twice in the eighth and six more times in the ninth to take an 18-9 lead.

            Senior right-hander Chip Hale (Londonderry, N.H.) pitched the first six innings for the Panthers and earned the victory, improving to 1-1, while junior Chris Welch (South Burlington, Vt.) pitched the final three innings to record his first save of the season.

            Junior Dave McGuire (Plainville, Mass.) gave UMass Dartmouth a 2-0 lead in the nightcap with a first-inning single, while a sacrifice fly by freshman Matt Ryan (Uxbridge, Mass.) and a two-run single by junior Casey Askeland (Dartmouth, Mass.) made it 5-0 after two innings.

            Senior Brandon Hodge (Bradford, Vt.) singled in two runs and Levandowski and freshman Dan Eagan (Norwich, Conn.) each singled in a run in a four-run third for the Panthers that made it 5-4.

            The Corsairs came back to score a run in the bottom of the third, two in the fifth and four more in the sixth. Senior Dylan Zygmont (Swansea, Mass.) hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, ending the game due to the 10-run rule.

            Freshman right-hander Brian Pedrotti (Dalton, Mass.) scattered seven hits to earn the victory, improving his record to 1-3. Junior Taylor Ketchum (Fairhaven, Mass.) started and took the loss for PSU, falling to 1-3.

            PSU, 5-13 overall and 1-4 in LEC games, is scheduled back on the diamond Wednesday at Middlebury (3:30 p.m.).  UMD, 2-17 and 1-4 in the Little East, returns to action Tuesday at conference opponent Rhode Island College.

 (Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information) 

-- 30 --