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April 10, 2008

Rivier outlasts PSU Baseball in 12 innings

           BELMONT, Mass. - The Rivier College baseball team scored the go-ahead run on a suicide squeeze play in the top of the 12th inning Thursday afternoon, and the Raiders held on for a 4-3 non-conference victory over Plymouth State University. The game was played at Belmont High School due to lack of playable fields in New Hampshire.

            PSU came from behind three times to tie the game, including a ninth-inning rally to even the score at 2-2, and an 11th-inning rally to deadlock things at 3-3.  The Panthers put two runners on in the last of the 12th inning but Rivier closed out the win with a deep fly out to right field.  The Raiders won their fourth straight game to improve to 11-7, while PSU dropped to 5-15.

            The outcome spoiled a strong pitching performance by PSU freshman Chris Bryant (Lebanon, N.H.).  He pitched nine innings and surrendered just two runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks.  Junior Joey Brayton (Medfield, Mass.) came on and worked the last three innings for PSU, taking the loss after giving up three hits and two runs.

            Rivier got strong pitching efforts from senior John McMahon (Somerville, Mass.) and junior Robert Stump (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.).  McMahon worked the first five innings, allowing one run, one hit and four walks, and Stump came out of the bullpen to earn the win, pitching seven innings and giving up two runs on three hits and six walks.

            Junior Kevin Levandowski (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) finished with two of PSU's four hits on the day.  His first-inning double extended his hitting streak to 16 games, and his single in the 12th inning made it six straight games for Levandowski with at least two hits.

            The Raiders scored their first three runs on sacrifice flies, one in the second inning by sophomore Justin Ranauro (Chelmsford, Mass.), one in the fourth by McMahon, and one in the 11th by senior Isaac Burkett (Hudson, N.H.).  PSU tied it for the first time in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by freshman Dan Eagan (Norwich, Conn.), and forced extra innings following a ninth-inning RBI single by senior Jim VanGyzen (Glocester, R.I.)  Brayton helped himself with an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th.

            Sophomore Ryan O'Connor (Medford, Mass.) singled for Rivier to lead off the 12th inning, and eventually came around to score on the suicide squeeze by sophomore Chris Hunt (Lisbon, N.H.)

            PSU is scheduled to play at Western Connecticut State University this Saturday in a Little East Conference doubleheader (12:00 p.m.), pending weather conditions.  Rivier is slated to host Daniel Webster Saturday in a twinbill (12:00 p.m.)

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