AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Plymouth State University was on the short end of both baseball games against Washington & Jefferson College Friday afternoon, falling to the Presidents 8-1 and 10-8 on the final two games of the annual Florida trip.
The Panthers trailed 10-3 heading into the final inning of the nightcap, but rallied with five runs and had two runners on base before W&J finished off the win and the sweep. The President’s, who had a record-setting 35-14 season a year ago, are now 5-4 this season, while PSU comes north with an 0-10 record.
PSU has started out with a tough schedule as all five of its opponents this spring finished with winning records last season, and three (Westfield State, Trinity, and W&J) participated in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
W&J junior pitcher Pat Kennedy (Westerville, Ohio/South) limited Plymouth State to three hits and one unearned run in the opener, striking out three and walking one. The Panthers got their only run in the third inning when freshman Brendan Cosgrove (Merrimack, N.H.) singled and came around to score on an infield grounder and an infield error.
The President’s scored all the runs they would need in the third inning, crossing the plate five times off Panther starter John Andersch (Concord, N.H.), who struck out six but allowed five walks and four hit-batsmen. Junior Chris Bryant (Lebanon, N.H.) worked four solid innings in relief, allowing three runs on five hits and no walks, striking out two.
PSU rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the nightcap with three runs in the fourth inning. Sophomore Dan Eagan (Norwich, Conn,) hit a bases-loaded single and senior Steve Picco (Marshfield, Mass.) drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game, and sophomore Joe Eramo’s (Shirley, Mass.) infield grounder plated the go-ahead run for the upset-minded Panthers.
W&J tied the game with one run in the bottom of the fourth, and pulled ahead to a comfortable lead with five runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. But PSU didn’t go down without a fight in the seventh. After the first two Panther batters were hit by pitches, and an infield error scored the first run, sophomore Mike Cappiello (Westfield, N.J.) followed by an RBI single. With two outs, Picco delivered a run-scoring single and Eramo smashed a two-run triple to pull PSU to within two runs, 10-8. Cosgrove drew a walk to put the tying run on base, but an infield groundout ended the game.
PSU returns to New England and gets right back into action on Tuesday, March 30, with a 3:00 p.m. game at Rivier College.
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