Beard with big day at the plate for Panthers
SALEM, Mass. – Salem State University's starting nine all recorded at least one hit Friday afternoon as the Vikings fostered a 22-hit attack to defeat Plymouth State University, 16-5, in a non-conference game that was called in the seventh inning at the Central Campus Baseball Field.
Both teams scored at least two runs in each of the first two innings, with the home Vikings leading 5-4 after two. PSU tied it with a run in the top of the fourth inning but Salem State took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth before tacking on one more in the fifth and putting the game away with five runs in the sixth and a four-run rally in the seventh. Salem State improves to 12-11 and Plymouth State drops to 5-18.
Sophomore Steve Beard (Middleton, Mass.) went 3-for-4 with a double, two stolen bases and three runs scored to highlight the Panthers’ day. Senior Bryant Lausberg (Somersworth, N.H.) added a pair of RBI singles.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning when junior Luke Merrill (Pittsburgh, N.H.) cracked an RBI double and then scored on a hit by junior Mike Cappiello (Westfield, N.J.), but the Vikings answered with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning. PSU came right back with two more runs in the second inning on Beard and Lausberg RBI singles, but again Salem State had an answer, plating a pair in the bottom of the second to go ahead, 5-4.
Lausberg’s RBI single in the fourth inning accounted for PSU’s final run as the Viking relievers retired 11 of the final 12 Panther batters. Salem State hitters, meanwhile, exploded for nine runs in the sixth and seventh innings to end the game. Senior Joe Hudson (Seomwhere) started and took the loss (1-3) for PSU.
The Vikings travel to Mass Maritime Saturday for a MASCAC double header at 1 p.m. Plymouth State, which has played its first 23 games away from home, will play a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday against the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the season debut at Panther Park (12 noon).
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