Plymouth State Baseball drops pair at NEC

            HENNIKER, N.H. - The New England College baseball team finished its 2008 season Thursday afternoon with two wins, sweeping the visiting Plymouth State University Panthers, 3-2 and 14-7.  The Pilgrims finish their season with an overall record of 9-26, while the Panthers drop to 12-24.

            Plymouth State jumped on the board with two runs in the top half of the first inning of the opener.  Junior Kevin Levandowski (Derry, N.H.) doubled in a run, and then scored the second run after stealing third and coming home on a throwing error by the catcher.

            NEC cut the lead in half in the fourth inning on the first career home run by freshman P.J. Crowley (Pawcatuck, Conn.).  The Pilgrims took the lead in the last of the sixth when Crowley doubled with one out and junior Jordan Morgan (East Weymouth, Mass.) followed with a two-run homer.

            The Panthers put two runners on base in the seventh inning, but NEC senior Phil Achee (Clinton, Conn.) came on to get the final out to preserve the 3-2 win for the Pilgrims. Junior Matt Leger (Concord, N.H.) picked up the win, allowing just two earned runs on four hits.  PSU starter Joey Brayton (Medfield, Mass.) suffered the loss despite a complete-game effort, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out five.

            It was the Pilgrims who grabbed the early lead in the nightcap, stringing together three hits, including a Morgan home run, to take 3-0 lead.  PSU got a run back in the top of the second on a double by Jay Kleponis (Reading, Mass.) and a single by Mike Moody (Manchester, N.H.), but NEC responded by scoring five runs on four hits in the bottom half of the inning building an 8-1 lead.

             The Panthers rallied in the fourth inning with six runs on six hits and taking advantage of two Pilgrim errors to pull to within 8-7. Freshmen Dan Eagan (Norwich, Conn.), Matt Koban (Bradford, N.H.) and Grant Livingston (Niantic, Conn.) all delivered RBI singles in the inning, as did Levandowski.

            NEC grabbed a run back in the fourth and tacked on five more in the fifth to put the game away.

            Leading the way for the Pilgrims was Crowley, who was 4-for-4 at the plate with three runs batted in and three runs scored.   Freshman Jimmy Lauzon (Manchester, N.H.) finished with two hits and two runs scored, while Chris Gagne (Rochester, N.H.) singled twice and had an RBI.

            Moody reached base in all four plate appearances for PSU with three singles and a hit-by-pitch.  Kleponis collected two hits, including a double.

            PSU returns home to host Eastern Connecticut State University on Senior Day Saturday in a Little East Conference doubleheader at Panther Park (12:00 p.m.). 

(Courtesy of New England College Sports Information) 

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