MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore Mike Cappiello (Westfield, N.J.) and junior Grant Livingston (Niantic, Conn.) helped Plymouth State University to a big lead and junior Bryant Lausberg (Somersworth, N.H.) pitched five innings of standout relief as the Panthers held on to capture game two of a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader against Eastern Connecticut State University at the ECSU Baseball Stadium.
The Warriors, ranked fifth in this week’s New England poll, took the opener 13-2 in eight innings, scoring nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings to turn a 4-2 game into a rout. PSU took the nightcap 5-4, taking a 5-0 lead after three innings and holding on for the one-run win.
Eastern, which had won 19 straight games over Plymouth State, drops to 19-7 overall and 5-3 in conference play, while the Panthers are now 5-18 and 1-6. PSU batted as the home team in both games since the twinbill was scheduled to be played in Plymouth but was moved due to weather and field conditions.
Plymouth State took a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the opener on a two-run double by freshman David Tammaro (Cheshire, Conn.), one of his two hits in the game. Eastern came back and took the lead in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded triple by senior Chris Thomson (Montville, Conn.). Thomson ended up for the game 5-for-5 with two doubles, a triple and seven RBI.
Junior Jim Schult (Wappinger Falls, N.Y.) added an RBI double in the fifth inning to make it 4-2, and exploded with five runs in the seventh inning and four more in the eighth to end the game on the 10-run rule. Eastern was aided by three Panther errors and Thomson capitalized with two-run hits in each inning.
After PSU loaded the bases in the first inning of the nightcap on two walks and a hit-batter, Cappiello delivered a two-run single to center to give the Panthers another 2-0 lead. They extended the lead to 5-0 in the third inning on a run-scoring single by junior Dan Eagan (Norwich, Conn.) and a two-out, two-run base hit to center by Livingston, knocking the ECSU starting pitcher from the game.
Eastern got on the board in the fourth inning off PSU junior starter John Andersch (Concord, N.H.), one on a single by junior Andrew Dyer (Topsfield, Mass.) and another on an infield groundout. Andersch allowed two runs on five hits in four innings, walking five and striking out two.
Lausberg came on for PSU in the fifth inning and was touched for three hits and two runs in his first inning, but settled down and blanked the Warriors on three hits over the final four innings. He recorded the victory with five innings of two-run relief, striking out four and improving his record to 2-3.
Plymouth State hosts Keene State Tuesday in an LEC affair at 3:30 p.m. at Panther Park. The Owls rallied for a 5-4 win over PSU last Tuesday in Keene. Eastern Conn. hosts Suffolk on Monday in a non-conference encounter (3:00 p.m.)
-- 30 --