PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University scored five runs in the first three innings Thursday afternoon and then held on to defeat Salem State College, 7-5, in a non-conference baseball game at Panther Park. The game was originally scheduled for Friday but was moved ahead a day to avoid an oncoming rain storm.
The Panther offense collected 11 hits in the nine-inning affair, including three by sophomore Joe Eramo (Shirley, Mass.) PSU won for the second time in three games to up its record to 4-17, while Salem State fell for the second straight day and dipped below the .500 mark at 11-12.
Freshman Steve Beard (Middleton, Mass.) and Eramo led off the Panther first inning with back-to-back singles, and both came home on a two-run double by junior Bryant Lausberg (Somersworth, N.H.) Junior Matt Koban (Bradford, N.H./Kearsarge) followed with an RBI single to put PSU ahead, 3-0, and Eramo added a run-scoring hit in the second inning to make it 4-0.
The teams traded runs in the third inning, sophomore Chris Cocci (Wakefield, R.I.) delivering an RBI double to put the Vikings on the board and PSU answering in the bottom half of the inning with an unearned run following three Salem State errors.
The visitors climbed back into the game with one run in the sixth inning and two in the top of the seventh. Freshman Sam Perkins (Milford, Mass.) cracked a two-out RBI single in the sixth and junior Joe Galindo (Monument, Colo.) capped the seventh-inning rally with a run-scoring double, pulling the Vikings to within a run, 5-4.
Plymouth State answered with two runs in the last of the seventh, thanks to a pair of walks to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, one came home on a wild pitch and junior Grant Livingston (Niantic, Conn.) brought the other one home with a base hit.
Cocci, who finished the game with three hits and two RBI, brought home a run for Salem State in the eighth with an RBI double, but PSU sophomore Jonathan Bishop (Woburn, Mass.) came out of the bullpen to retire the final four batters to record his first save.
Junior Chris Bryant (Lebanon, N.H.) earned his first win (1-1) of the season for PSU, working into the seventh inning and allowing four runs while striking out four. Junior Andrew Blair (Falmouth, Mass.) pitched six innings for Salem and took the loss (0-1).
Plymouth State returns to Little East Conference action Sunday (Apr. 18) with a twinbill at Panther Park against Eastern Connecticut State University (12 noon). The game was scheduled for Saturday but was moved back a day to avoid Saturday’s scheduled rain. Salem State is slated to host Worcester State Saturday in a MASCAC doubleheader on Saturday (12 noon), weather permitting.
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