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May 3, 2008

Eastern Conn. sweeps LEC doubleheader from PSU Baseball

           PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Eastern Connecticut State University used strong pitching and timely hitting Saturday afternoon to sweep a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader from Plymouth State University, 4-2 and 7-0, in the final regular season games of the year at Panther Park.

           Junior Jimmy Jagodzinski (Greenwich, Conn.) limited the Panthers to a pair of ninth inning unearned runs in the opener, improving his record to 8-2 on the season and taking over the LEC lead in victories.  Jagodzinski allowed 10 hits but didn't walk a batter and struck out 12. 

           Senior Joe Esposito (East Haven, Conn.) pitched seven innings of shutout ball in the nightcap, earning the win for Eastern to improve to 5-1.  He surrendered three hits and four walks while fanning nine.  Junior Michael Montanari (Newington, Conn.) and freshman Ronnie Newkirk (New Milford, Conn.) each pitched a perfect inning of relief.

           The outcome leaves ECSU with a 27-11-1 overall record and an 11-3 LEC mark heading into next week's conference tournament.  PSU misses out on qualifying for the tournament and completes the season at 12-26 overall and 3-11 in conference play.

           Eastern took a 3-0 lead in the third inning of the opener.  Senior Jon Dalton (Standish, Maine) delivered a two-run double and then came around to score on a single by junior Shawn Gilblair (Windham, Conn.)  It stayed that way until the eighth inning, when the Warriors extended the margin to 4-0 on Gilblair's home run to right field.  It was his 12th round-tripper of the season, which is tied for the LEC lead.

           PSU managed a pair of runs in the ninth inning when freshman Seth Labossiere (Lincoln, R.I.) and senior Jim VanGyzen (Glocester, R.I.) reached base with singles.  Junior Marc McGinnis (Hanover, Mass.) followed with a single to right, and Labossiere and VanGyzen came around to score when the ball got past the right fielder.  With the potential tying run at the plate, Jagodzinski got the next Panther batter to pop out to end the game. PSU actually out-hit the visitors in the opener, 10-8.

           PSU senior Chip Hale (Londonderry, N.H.) pitched well for the Panthers but suffered the loss (3-3). He allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks in the complete-game effort, striking out six.

           The Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the second inning of the nightcap, and pulled away with two runs in the fourth inning and single runs in the fifth and sixth.

           Sophomore Travis Bass (West Hartford, Conn.) had a two-run single in the second inning, and came home on an infield out.  Classmate John Parke (Middlefield, Conn.) brought home a run in the fourth inning when he walked with the bases loaded, and Dalton followed with an RBI groundout.  Junior Andrew Magliola (East Haven, Conn.) and freshman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, Mass.) added RBI singles for the Warriors in the fifth and sixth innings.  

           The day marked the final games for PSU seniors Hale, VanGyzen, John Pogorzelski (Hillsborough, N.J.), Brandon Hodge (Bradford, Vt.), Justin Flanagan (Hingham, Mass.), Ryan Lavelle (Middleboro, Mass.), Kevin Levandowski (Derry, N.H.) and student assistant Matt Grenier (Saco, Maine).

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