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March 25, 2011

PSU Baseball wins twice against Scranton (Pa.)

Panthers  come from behind to complete sweep

            FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Plymouth State University baseball team earned a pair of victories Friday in the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic, defeating the University of Scranton (Pa.), 11-6 and 7-6.

            The Panthers, back in action after a two-day layoff, scored 11 runs on 11 hits to outslug the Royals in the opener.  PSU then rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth inning in game two to come from behind and got a strong bullpen performance to clinch the sweep. Plymouth State is now 2-6 on the Florida trip and 3-9 overall, while Scranton falls below the .500 mark at 6-8 overall.

            Plymouth State hitters cracked three home runs in the opener, accounting for nine of the 11 runs.  Freshman Jeff Runnals (Wolfeboro, N.H.) hit a three-run homer in the second inning to stake PSU to a 3-1 lead; junior Ryan McIntosh (Lincoln, N.H.) cracked a two-run shot to highlight a four-run fourth inning; and sophomore Rew Wilson (Niantic, Conn.) hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth after Scranton had pulled to within 7-4 in the top half of the inning.  Senior Bryant Lausberg (Somersworth, N.H.) also collected three hits, including a double.

            Junior Jonathan Bishop (Woburn, Mass.) recorded the victory on the mound for PSU.  He allowed only one run through five innings before tiring in the sixth, finishing with seven strikeouts in five-and-two-thirds innings.

            Junior Matt Rayha led the Royals with three hits, including two doubles and two RBI.  Senior Jason Lane also provided a highlight with a seventh-inning solo home run.

            PSU led 3-1 after four innings of the second game, thanks in part to a two-run home run in the first inning by Lausberg, who was also the Panthers’ starting pitcher.  Lausberg limited Scranton to just one run through four innings, but the Royals came alive with five runs in bottom of the fifth, keyed by a bases-loaded triple by senior Chris Velazquez, to take a 6-3 lead.

            The Panthers answered right back in the top of the sixth with four runs, regaining the lead at 7-6.  Junior Luke Merrill (Pittsburg, N.H.) had a big two-run double in the rally, and Wilson, who reached base four times with two hits and two walks, delivered a two-out RBI single for PSU for what proved to be the winning run.

            Sophomore Spencer Webb (Warwick, R.I.) came out of the Panther bullpen and shut down the Royals the last two innings, allowing only two walks while striking out three to earn his first save.

            PSU will play it final two games of the trip on Saturday, facing Colby College in a twinbill at 9:00 a.m. 

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