Huskies hand Panthers tough LEC setbacks
GORHAM, Maine – The University of Southern Maine swept a pair of Little East Conference baseball games from Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at the USM Baseball Stadium, winning the opener, 6-2, and taking the nightcap, 17-7.
The first game was tied 2-2 at the midway point, but USM plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth and added an insurance run in the seventh. PSU loaded the bases in the seventh inning on a pair of walks and a hit batter and put two runners on in the eighth on an error and a hit batter, but couldn't push any more runs across as the Husky bullpen pitched four innings of no-hit ball while striking out seven. Senior Mike Cappiello had two of PSU's five hits in the game.
Southern Maine out-hit PSU 18-5 in the second game, but didn't put the Panthers away until the eighth inning. The Panthers actually led 3-1 in the third inning, but USM took the lead for good with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to open up a 9-3 advantage. After the teams traded runs in the seventh frame, Plymouth State plated three in the top of the eighth to pull to within three runs (10-7) and had the bases loaded. But the Huskies got out of the jam and then scored seven runs in the last of the seventh to end the game on the LEC mercy rule.
Junior Steve Beard had a two-run triple for PSU and was hit by a pitch twice to reach base three times in the nightcap for PSU. Cappiello had a double and a hit-by-pitch in four trips the plate.
The sweep improves the Huskies' overall mark to 16-14, and 7-3 in Little East play. The Panthers have dropped their last three games, and slipped to 12-18 overall and 2-8 in the conference.
Southern Maine is slated to play nationally-ranked Wheaton College Sunday, while PSU's non-conference doubleheader at Colby College Sunday has been postponed due to impending bad weather. The Panthers are scheduled to be back on the diamond Monday at Colby-Sawyer College.
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