Big innings lift Panthers over rival Owls
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University baseball team scored five runs in the second inning Tuesday afternoon to take a 6-0 lead and put the game away with four runs in the eighth inning, defeating rival Keene State College, 12-6, in a Little East Conference game at Panther Park.
The Panthers even the season series with the Owls at one game apiece, snapping a 16-game losing streak to their Granite State rivals, dating back to 2003. PSU has won three in a row this season, improving to 8-19 overall and 2-6 in conference games, while KSC dropped to 20-8 overall and 5-3 in the LEC.
Freshman Tucker Regan (Niantic, Conn.) paced the PSU 13-hit attack with three hits, including a double and an RBI. Junior Luke Merrill (Pittsburg, N.H) had two hits and knocked in three, and sophomore Steve Beard (Middleton, Mass.) and junior Mike Cappiello (Westfield, N.J.) added two hits and two RBI each.
Four Owls had two hits apiece – sophomore Greg Bates (Salem, N.H.), senior Bobby Doyon (Keene, N.H.), junior Erik Bergstrom (Enfield, Conn.) and freshman David Valley (Essex Jct., Vt.).
Plymouth State scored an unearned run in the first inning before plating five in the bottom of the second to open up a 6-0 lead. Junior Ryan McIntosh (Lincoln, N.H.) cracked a two-run double in the rally and Merrill added a two-run single.
Keene State battled back to within a run (6-5) with two runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth. Bates and Doyon contributed RBI singles for the Owls in the fifth inning. PSU pushed the margin back to three runs (8-5) with a pair in the bottom of the fifth on Beard’s two-out, two-run single to left.
After the Owls tacked on an unearned run in the top of the eighth, PSU put the game away with four runs in the bottom half of the inning. Cappiello delivered a two-run double, followed by RBI singles by senior Matt Koban (Bradford, N.H.) and Regan.
Senior Bryant Lausberg (Somersworth, N.H.) started and worked six innings for PSU, recording his first win of the season (1-3). Sophomores Rew Wilson (Niantic, Conn.) and Spencer Webb (Warwick, R.I.) combined to pitch three innings of one-run relief, with Webb picking up his second save. Sophomore Kyle Underwood (Campton, N.H./Plymouth Regional) started and took the loss for KSC.
Both teams have make-up games scheduled for Wednesday, weather permitting, with PSU hosting Colby-Sawyer College at Panther Park and KSC visiting Amherst College.
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