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March 21, 2011

PSU Baseball falls to Knox and Wooster

Panthers  can't catch break on Florida trip

            FORT MYERS, Fla. – The bats were kept at bay Monday for the Plymouth State University baseball team as the Panthers dropped a pair of games in the Gene Cusic Classic.  PSU fell to Knox College (Ill.) in the first game, 7-3, and then to the College of Wooster (Ohio), 4-2.

            PSU scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth against Knox to pull to within 4-3, but the Prairie Fire pulled away with two in the seventh and one in the eighth.  The Panthers took 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the fourth and fifth innings against Wooster, but the Fighting Scots answered with one in their half of the fourth and two in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead.  Pitching did the rest for both teams and Wooster added an insurance run in the eighth inning for the 4-2 final.

            Senior starter John Andersch settled down after allowing two runs on three hits in the first inning against Knox; he then worked three-and-two-thirds innings of hitless ball, walking four and striking out three.  Sophomore Kevin Allard worked a solid relief role for PSU for more than four innings but took the loss.

            Trailing 2-1 in the fourth inning, junior Luke Merrill put the Panthers on the board with a solo home run.  Merrill finished with a double, a home run and two RBI.  Freshman Jeff Runnals (Wolfeboro, N.H.) also knocked in a run with a fielder's choice.

            Freshman Ben Cronin singled home Merrill in the fourth inning of the second game against Wooster to give PSU a 1-0 lead.  After the Fighting Scots tied it in the bottom of the fourth, PSU got an unearned run in the top of the fifth to go up, 2-1.  But that was the extent of the Panther offense, and Wooster held on after taking the 3-2 lead in the last of the fifth.

            Junior Joe Hudson turned in a complete-game effort for PSU, giving up four runs on seven hits in nine innings, striking out one, but was saddled with the loss.

            PSU will play a pair of seven-inning games Tuesday against SUNY New Paltz, beginning at 10:00 a.m. 

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