Panthers win opener in extras but fall in nightcap
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University and Rhode Island College split a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale at Panther Park, PSU taking the opener, 8-7 in 11 innings, and RIC winning the nightcap, 8-2.
The Panthers held a 7-3 lead after seven innings of the opener before the Anchormen rallied with one run in the eighth inning and three in the ninth to force extra innings. PSU pulled out the win in the bottom of the 11th on a sacrifice fly by senior Ryan McIntosh (Lincoln, N.H.).
RIC used another ninth inning rally in the nightcap, this time to clinch the victory. The visitors led 3-2 going into the final frame before plating five insurance runs.
Both teams fall short in their bids to qualify for next week's LEC Tournament. RIC finishes the season at 12-27 overall and 5-9 in the Little East, while PSU winds up at 20-20 overall and 4-10 in conference play.
McIntosh and junior Brandon Cox (Nashua, N.H.) had two hits and two RBI apiece to lead PSU in the opener, and sophomore Brian Thompson (Southington, Conn.) drove in three runs. Senior Steve Beard (Middleton, Mass.) and freshman Dave Hall (Groton, Conn.) also smacked a pair of hits.
Sophomore Mario Albunia (Jersey City, N.J.) led the Anchormen in the opener with two hits and three runs batted in, including a clutch two-out hit in the ninth inning that drove in a run. Juniors Alex Verrecchia (Cranston, R.I.) and Justin Rainville (Cumberland, R.I.) also had two hits apiece.
Junior Tucker Regan (Niantic, Conn.) earned the victory in relief for PSU, working four innings and allowing just two earned runs. Senior starter Rew Wilson (Niantic, Conn.) pitched the first seven innings, giving up just two earned runs on four hits while striking out five. Sophomore Dylan Cummiskey (Warwick, R.I.) pitched effective relief for RIC, surrendering just three hits and one earned run in 5.2 innings of work.
The second game was a pitching duel between PSU sophomore Cody Gilchrist (Tyngsboro, Mass.) and RIC junior CJ Tsoumakas (Hope, R.I.) The Anchormen touched Gilchrist for two runs in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Rainville and a run-scoring single by freshman Justin Costa (Cranston, R.I.), and added another run in the sixth on Costa's second RBI single.
PSU closed the gap with a run in the last of the sixth when McIntosh doubled and scored on an RIC error, and pulled to within a run in the eighth on Thompson's RBI single. But the Anchormen put the game out of reach with five runs in the top of the ninth. Freshman Matt Foley (Seekonk, Mass.) delivered a two-run single to right, Verrecchia followed with an RBI single through the right side, and Rainville capped the rally with a two-run triple.
Tsoumakas earned the win, working eight innings and allowing two runs (one earned) and seven hits, striking out seven. Gilchrist didn't get out of the sixth inning and suffered the loss.
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