PSU Baseball holds off Castleton rally

            CASTLETON, Vt. - Plymouth State University second baseman Grant Livingston (Niantic, Conn.) took home on a double-steal in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon to score what would prove to be the winning run as the Panthers downed Castleton State College, 9-8, in non-conference baseball action.

            Plymouth State jumped out to an early 7-0 lead as Castleton starter Billy Bruneau struggled through three innings.  Junior Kevin Levandowski (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) provided a two-run double in the first, and singled and scored in the third to provide much of the damage. Senior Jim VanGyzen (Glocester, R.I.) added a solo home run in the second, while classmate John Pogorzelski (Hillsborough, N.J.) walked and scored in the first and added an RBI single in the third.

            Castleton got a run back in the fourth as junior Marlin Froese (Winkler, Mani.) delivered an RBI single.  The Spartans put together a five-run eighth inning as nine men came to the plate. Senior Brad Polcare (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) smacked an RBI triple, and junior Kyle Brooks (Charlotte, Vt.), senior Chris Ragis (South Burlington, Vt.) and junior Oliver Aldrich (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) each contributed run-scoring singles. PSU got out of the inning still holding onto an 8-6 lead heading into the ninth.

            Livingston reached on single to left-center to lead off the inning, and moved to second when senior Brandon Hodge (Bradford, Vt.) was hit by a pitch. Livingston moved to third on Pogorzelski's fly-out to left field. With sophomore Steve Picco (Marshfield, Mass.) at the plate, Hodge took off for second and stopped halfway. Livingston scampered home with the winning run as the throw went through to second base.

            Castleton plated two more runs in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single from freshman Dan Conley (Manchester, N.H.) and an RBI double from Ragis. Ragis was thrown out trying to stretch his double into a triple for the final out of the game.

            Polcare finished with a 4-for-4 day at the plate including a walk, double, and triple to lead the 14-16 Spartans. Conley added three hits, two runs and one RBI.

            Levandowski was 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, while VanGyzen was 2-for-3. Freshman Seth Labossiere (Lincoln, R.I.) picked up the win in relief, tossing three shut-out innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out two for the 9-20 Panthers, who have won three in a row.

            Plymouth State travels to Salem State Thursday for a 3:30 pm non-conference match-up.  Castleton is back in action on Friday at 2:00 p.m., hosting the University of Maine-Presque Isle. 

(Courtesy of Castleton Sports Information) 

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