Panthers suffer both losses by one run
CONCORD, N.H. – Colby College swept a non-conference baseball doubleheader from Plymouth State University Sunday afternoon, defeating the Panthers in a pair of one-run games, 3-2 and 7-6. PSU had the tying runs in scoring position in the seventh inning of both contests but could not deliver the key hit against the Mules’ bullpen.
The Mules, who have now won four in a row to even their record at 10-10, capture the season series over PSU, 3-1, as the two teams split a doubleheader last month in Florida. The Panthers dropped their sixth in a row and fell to 5-16. The games were played at New Hampshire Technical Institute as PSU’s home diamond was unplayable.
All five runs in the first game were scored in the first inning. Colby got its three when juniors Nik Atsalis (West Hyannis Port, Mass.) and Brendan Gallagher (Dublin, N.H.) hit one-out singles, classmate Robb Arndt (South Yarmouth, Maine) cracked a two-out, two-run double, and Arndt came home on a single by junior Taro Gold (Belmont, Mass.).
PSU answered in the bottom half of the first with its two runs. Senior Matt Koban (Bradford, N.H.) led off with a walk and junior Ryan McIntosh (Lincoln, N.H.) followed with a double to right. An infield ground out brought home Koban with the first run, and a passed ball allowed McIntosh to score.
That ended up as all of the scoring as both starting pitchers settled down. Sophomore Nate Sugarbaker (Milton, Mass.) didn’t allow another hit until the sixth inning and recorded with victory for Colby, pitching 5.1 innings and allowing three hits and four walks while striking out two. Freshman Lucas Geoghegan (Boston, Mass.) retired five of the six batters he faced to record his first save. Junior Joe Hudson (Greenfield, Mass.) went the distance for PSU and was a tough-luck loser, scattering seven hits over seven innings with no walks and three strikeouts.
The second game was close the whole way. Junior Brandon Nieuw (Port Chester, N.Y.) delivered a two-run double in the top of the fourth inning to put Colby up 3-1, but PSU answered in the bottom half of the inning with RBI singles by freshman Jeff Runnals (Wolfeboro, N.H./Kingswood) and sophomore Brendan Cosgrove (Merrimack, N.H.). The Mules plated three more in the top of the fifth, one coming home on a groundout, one on a double steal, and one on a RBI single by Devin McConnell (Merion Station, Pa.). PSU came back with a pair in the bottom of the fifth on a clutch two-out, two-run single by sophomore Rew Wilson (Niantic, Conn.).
The Mules added an insurance run in the sixth inning to extend their lead to 7-5 as Gallagher delivered a two-out RBI double to left center. Colby needed the extra run when PSU rallied in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs on a walk and two hit-batters. A fielder’s choice brought home one run but reliever Mark Nelson (Walpole, Mass.) closed out the game by getting the next batter to hit a groundout to third.
PSU returns to Little East Conference action Tuesday with a visit to rival Keene State College. Colby plays a single game Wednesday at the University of Southern Maine.
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