Panthers win nightcap in season finale for Coach McManus
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University baseball team sent retiring head coach Dennis McManus out with a victory Friday afternoon, defeating Rhode Island College, 3-2, in the nightcap of a Little East Conference doubleheader at Panther Park. PSU bounced back after the Anchormen took the opener, 7-1.
PSU rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the nightcap with one run in the sixth inning and two in the seventh to pull out the win. The Panthers complete the campaign with a 16-24 overall record and a 4-10 mark in the LEC, while Rhode Island College heads into next week's LEC Tournament with a 21-11 overall record and tied for second in the LEC with a 9-5 mark.
RIC held a 2-0 lead in the middle of the sixth inning of game one, thanks to a sacrifice fly in the second inning by senior Tyler Santaniello (Cumberland, R.I.) and an RBI single in the sixth by freshman Matt Foley (Seekonk, Mass.) PSU got one run back in the last of the sixth on an RBI single by junior Justin Walsh (Goffstown, N.H.).
The Panthers pulled ahead with two runs in the seventh. Junior Paul Reny (South Portland, Maine) reached on a one-out walk and classmate Dave Hall (Groton, Conn.) singled to right to put two runners on, and senior Brian Thompson (Southington, Conn.) delivered a two-run double down the left-field line.
Junior Matt Doxter (Somersworth, N.H.) earned the win for PSU, evening his season record at 3-3. He pitched eight-and-one-third innings and allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks, striking out seven. Senior Josh Young (Somersworth, N.H.) came on to get the final two outs for his fifth save, equaling the school record for saves in a season (Jason Lewis, 1997, and Sean Walsh, 1998).
The outcome spoiled a solid outing by RIC junior Dylan Pingitore (Johnson, R.I.), who held PSU scoreless for the first five innings. He finished with six -and-two-thirds innings pitched, allowing three runs while fanning four. Senior Joe Brooks (Pawtucket, R.I.) pitched the final inning and a third without allowing a hit.
Senior Dylan Cummiskey (Warwick, R.I.) shut down the Panthers in the opener, allowing just six hits and one unearned run (no walks) while striking out four. Cummiskey improved his record to 6-1 and ranks second in the LEC in victories and third in ERA (2.68).
After four scoreless innings to start the game, RIC jumped out in front with three runs in the fifth inning. All three came home on a bases-loaded double by junior Gian Abbruzzese (North Providence, R.I.)
PSU cut the margin to 3-1 with a solo run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by junior Dan Armstrong (Danville, N.H.) but RIC broke the game open with four runs in the top of the eighth. Foley doubled in a run, two more came home on a PSU infielder error, and junior Angelo St. Laurent (Cranston, R.I.) brought home the final run on an infield grounder.
The games marked the conclusion of the career of McManus, who was the Panther head coach for 31 years and collected 506 victories.
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