Six-run first inning lifts Panthers
CASTLETON, Vt. – Plymouth State University scored six runs in the first inning and never looked back Wednesday afternoon, defeating Castleton State College, 9-2, in a non-conference baseball game at Spartan Field.
Freshman pitcher Michael Welch picked up his first career win for the Panthers, allowing two earned runs on three hits and four walks while striking out one over five innings.
Plymouth State sent 11 men to the plate in the six-run first, chasing Castleton starter Brendan Mayhew. After the leadoff man was retired, the next eight Panthers reached base with RBI-singles coming from Mike Capiello and Spencer Webb. Jeff Runnals, Rob Madonna and Tucker Regan each worked bases-loaded walks to bring home a run and freshman David Foote capped off the scoring with a run-scoring fielder's choice.
Castleton got one back in the bottom of the inning as David Brandt singled up the middle to lead things off, stole second and third, and came home on a Ryan Zielinski sacrifice fly to right.
The Panthers tacked on three more runs in the third inning. Runnals got things started with a bunt single and stolen base, and Madonna smacked a one-out double to left-centerfield. Regan singled through the left side and Foote followed with an RBI-double to left-center.
The Spartans loaded the bases in the fifth, but Welch worked himself out of the jam, allowing just one run on another Zielinski sacrifice fly.
Joe Hudson allowed just one hit over three innings of relief for PSU and Webb finished things off in the ninth.
Brandt and Mat Pause each went 2-for-4 to pace the Spartan offense. Foote collected a pair of hits and two RBI to lead the Panthers, while freshman Paul Reny, Webb and sophomore Tucker Regan each had two hits and an RBI.
The Spartans fall to 26-13 in their final tune up before the weekend's conference tournament. Castleton will host the four-team, double-elimination event starting at 11 am on Friday when the Spartans square off with Colby-Sawyer.
Plymouth State returns to Little East play Saturday with a doubleheader at Panther Park versus UMass Boston.
(Courtesy of Castleton Sports Information)
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