Cappiello leads Panthers to victory in opener
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University and the University of Southern Maine split a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Friday afternoon at Panther Park, PSU winning the first game 10-7 and USM taking the nightcap in seven innings, 12-0.
Junior Mike Cappiello (Westfield, N.J.) led the home team to its fourth straight victory in the opener with two hits and four runs batted in, including a three-run homer in the fifth inning that tied the game at 6-6. Sophomore Nick Douglass (Poland, Maine) pitched a five-hit shutout for the Huskies in the nightcap to earn the doubleheader split.
PSU’s win in the opener snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Huskies, dating back to 2005. The Panthers are now 9-20 this spring and 3-7 in the Little East, while Southern Maine is 15-14 overall and 4-6 in conference play. PSU also broke a 16-game losing streak to Keene State earlier this week.
Southern Maine led the first game 6-2 after four innings before PSU rallied for the win. Sophomore Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H.) singled home a run for USM in the first inning and classmate Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine) added a two-run single. Junior David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine) clouted a solo home run in the third inning, and senior Jordan Berthiaume (Berlin, Conn.) delivered a two-run double in the fourth. PSU’s runs came in the third inning on an RBI single by senior Bryant Lausberg (Somersworth, N.H.) and Cappiello’s sacrifice fly.
The Panthers rallied to tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. After junior Ryan McIntosh (Lincoln, N.H.) doubled and Lausberg walked, classmate Luke Merrill (Pittsburg, N.H) doubled home a run and Cappiello tied it with his first round-tripper of the season.
PSU took the lead for good in the sixth inning when sophomore Joe Perry (Sandwich, Mass.) singled home a run. The home team added some insurance with three more in the seventh as freshman Tucker Regan (Niantic, Conn.) delivered a two-run triple and then scored on Perry’s RBI double.
Sophomores Ryan Wakefield (Sanbornton, N.H.) and Spencer Webb (Warwick, R.I.) and Lausberg combined to pitch six innings out of the Panther bullpen, allowing just two runs on five hits and two walks. Wakefield recorded the win (1-0) while Lausberg came in and retired three in a row in the ninth inning to post his first save.
Douglass kept the PSU hitters off balance in the second game, scattering five hits and one walk while striking out seven to improve his record to 3-1. Sophomore Steve Beard (Middleton, Mass.) was the only Panther Douglass had trouble with, as Beard went 3-for-3 in the game.
Eight of the nine Husky starters had at least one hit in the nightcap, although Grady was the only one with two hits. Grady, White, freshman Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine), and sophomore Brett Barrett (Keene, N.H.) drove in two runs in USM’s 10-hit attack.
PSU will be back in action on Monday with a non-conference home game against Daniel Webster College. USM will host Thomas College on Tuesday in a non-conference tilt.
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