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PSU advances to LEC Baseball Championship game

Panther hand Keene State first loss in tournament

            GORHAM, Maine – Plymouth State University's amazing run in the Little East Conference Baseball Tournament continued Saturday as the sixth-seeded Panthers defeated second-seeded Keene State College, 9-2, in Game 9 of Little East Tournament, hosted by the University of Southern Maine.

            The Panthers (20-21), who were facing elimination with a loss, advance to their first LEC Championship game Sunday at 2:00 p.m.  PSU, which prior to this week hadn't won an LEC Tournament game since 2001, has now captured three wins in four days over the #1, #2 and #4 seeds.  Keene State (31-12), previously the only undefeated team in the tournament, will play again Sunday in Game 10 at 11:00 a.m. against top-seeded USM; the winner of Game 10 will meet Plymouth State at 2:00 for the championship.

            Sophomore Jeff Runnals and junior Rew Wilson did a masterful job pitching for PSU. Runnals started and recorded the win for the Panthers, pitching 5-1/3 innings and allowing just two runs on seven hits, striking out four, while Wilson earned the save, pitching the final 3-2/3 scoreless innings and giving up just three hits and a walk.

            Freshman David Foote cracked a two-run triple to highlight a four-run fourth inning that put PSU up for good.  Junior David Tammaro and sophomore Brendan Cosgrove also had RBI hits in the inning.

            PSU pulled away with two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh.  Junior Steve Beard and Tammaro knocked in runs in the fifth, Runnals drove one home in the sixth, and freshman Paul Reny and Runnals added RBIs in the seventh.

            The Panthers finished with 15 hits in the game.  Beard had three hits while Foote, Reny, senior Ryan McIntosh and sophomore Spencer Webb collected two hits each.

            Plymouth State went 0-3 in its only two LEC Tournament appearances in the last 10 years (0-1 in 2002, 0-2 in 2009).  The Panthers, who qualified for this year's tournament on the final weekend of the regular season, have upset top-seeded Southern Maine, fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University and second-seeded Keene State. 

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