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PSU Baseball earns split with RIC in Little East opener

Panthers rally with four-run ninth to pull out nightcap

            PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Brandon Cox (Nashua, N.H.) keyed a four-run ninth inning rally with a two-run single and the go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch Saturday afternoon as Plymouth State University defeated Rhode Island College, 7-6, in the nightcap to earn a split of the season-opening Little East Conference baseball doubleheader at Anchorman Field.

            PSU senior right-hander Tucker Regan (Niantic, CT) and RIC senior left-hander C.J. Tsoumakas (Hope, RI) locked up in a pitcher's duel in the opener, with the Anchormen pulling out a 1-0 victory on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning. Plymouth State is now 11-6 overall (1-1 LEC) and Rhode Island College is 8-11 (1-3 LEC).

            Tsoumakas struck out eight batters in eight innings in the opener for RIC, conceding just three hits and four walks along the way. Meanwhile, Regan fanned nine Anchormen in six shutout innings and allowed just three hits and four walks in the no decision.

            Following eight scoreless innings, Sean Getman (Oneonta, N.Y.) legged out a double to open the bottom of the ninth. After Getman advanced to third on a wild pitch, junior Dean Beshansky (Cumberland, RI) lofted a pop up to left field that was just deep enough to score Getman for the walk-off win.

            Junior Dylan Cummiskey (Warwick, R.I.) relieved Tsoumakas in the top of the ninth and surrendered just two hits and one walk en route to the victory (2-1). Senior Zach Cogswell (Allenstown, N.H.) suffered the loss (0-1) for the visitors, despite tossing two solid innings of relief.

            In the nightcap, the Panthers scored their first run of the day in the top of the first after sophomore Patrick Cannon (Concord, N.H.) crossed the plate on an RBI single from junior Brian Thompson (Southington, Conn). The Anchormen answered right back in the bottom half of the frame to tie the game, 1-1, thanks to an RBI single from junior Tyler Santaniello (Cumberland, R.I.).

            Rhode Island College followed with four more runs in the bottom of the third to jump ahead of the Panthers, 5-1. After the Anchormen loaded the bases with three straight singles, sophomore Angelo St. Laurent (Cranston, RI) singled through the right side to score junior Chris Siravo (Wakefield, RI). Senior Justin Rainville (Cumberland, RI) followed with a bases-clearing, three-run double to left-center field that put the hosts up by four.

            After RIC added another run in the bottom of the fourth, courtesy of an RBI single from senior Justin Costa (Cranston, R.I.), Plymouth State began to chip away at the deficit in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs to make it, 6-3. Junior Paul Reny (South Portland, ME) spearheaded the offensive attack with a two-run double to right-center field.

            Both teams fell silent on offense until the top of the ninth inning, when the Panthers mounted their comeback bid, despite trailing by a trio of runs. After opening the frame with a double to right field, senior Jeff Runnals (Wolfeboro, N.H.) scored the first run of the stanza on an RBI fielder's choice from freshman Austin Karls (Severna Park, MD). Moments later, Cox belted a two-run single to center field that plated Reny and Karls, tying the game at six.

            With the bases loaded and two outs, Thompson came around to score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, giving the visitors a 7-6 advantage. Senior Ryan Wakefield (Sanbornton, N.H.) entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning and retired the Anchormen in order en route to his second save of the season.

            After entering the game in the fourth inning, senior Spencer Webb (Warwick, R.I.) was brilliant in 4.1 scoreless innings of relief for the Panthers, allowing just one hit and two walks to go along with five strikeouts in the win (1-0).

            Junior Kyle Morvan (Smithfield, R.I.) was solid on the mound for RIC, striking out four and scattering three runs on seven hits and two walks in the no decision.  Senior Brad Van Fechtmann (East Greenwich, R.I.) was tagged with the loss (0-4) after coming out of the bullpen in relief of Morvan in the seventh.

            Rainville led the RIC offense with a 3-for-8 performance at the dish that featured a double, a walk, and three RBI. St. Laurent added a trio of hits to go along with an RBI and a run scored, while Beshansky posted a pair of hits, including a triple, to go along with an RBI, three walks, and three runs scored. Costa added two hits, two walks, one RBI, and two stolen bases, while Siravo contributed two hits, three walks, and a run scored.

            Sophomore Mike Laflamme (Bedford, N.H.) went 3-for-3 to pace the Panthers' at the plate, while Reny added a pair of doubles, two RBI, and a run scored. Cox chipped in with two hits, two RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored, while Runnals went 2-for-6 with a double and two runs scored.

            PSU is right back in action Sunday morning with a Little East Conference make-up doubleheader at UMass Dartmouth, beginning at 11:00 a.m. RIC will play Johnson & Wales on Wednesday, April 9 (3:30 p.m.).

(Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information)

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