PSU Baseball splits LEC opener at Eastern Conn.

Beard, three pitchers lead Panthers to win in nightcap

            MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior Steve Beard (Middleton, Mass.) tripled home two runs to highlight a four-run inning and three Plymouth State University pitchers combined to hold off Eastern Connecticut State University in the nightcap Saturday afternoon as the Panthers and Warriors split a pair of 5-3 Little East Conference games at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

            PSU has won three of four games since returning from Florida, improving to 10-7 overall and 1-1 in conference play.  The 10 wins in the most for PSU in the month of March in school history. Eastern Conn. is now 12-5 overall and 1-1 in the LEC.

            Eastern took the opener 5-3 despite a three-run homer by Beard in the eighth inning that cut the Warrior lead to 4-3. After Eastern added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, the Panthers loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth but couldn't push any runs across.

            Beard's two-run triple helped give PSU a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning of the nightcap, and sophomore Dan Armstrong (Danville, N.H.) singled home a run in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0.

            Junior Tucker Regan (Niantic, Conn.) pitched four no-hit innings to start the second game for PSU. After Regan surrendered two runs in the fifth, sophomore Josh Young (Somersworth, N.H.) stopped the rally with two straight strikeouts, and pitched two more innings, allowing just one run on five hits.  Junior Spencer Webb (Warwick, R.I.) came on in the eighth and worked the final two scoreless innings, preserving the victory for his third save of the season.

            PSU trailed 4-0 in the eighth inning of the opener when freshman Dave Hall (Groton, Conn.) led off with a single, and senior Brendan Cosgrove (Merrimack, N.H.) followed with a double to right. Beard connected on a three-run shot to right field, just the second home run of the season for the Panthers, both Beard, PSU's leadoff hitter.

            Senior Dave Tammaro (Cheshire, Conn.) and sophomore Brian Thompson (Southington, Conn.) got on base in the ninth inning with singles and Hall loaded the bases when he reached on an error, but senior Tom Darby got the last two outs for Eastern to preserve the win.

            PSU is slated to play its home opener on Wednesday, Apr. 3, at 4:00 p.m. at Panther Park against Daniel Webster College. 

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