PSU Baseball splits season opener with Becker

PSU Baseball splits season opener with Becker

Panthers earn first win for new head coach Clay Jenkins

            RINDGE, N.H. – Junior James Garnett (Newport, R.I.) hit a pair of two-run home runs in the first game of a season-opening doubleheader Sunday afternoon to lead Plymouth State University to a 9-2 victory over Becker College in a non-conference baseball twin bill held at Franklin Pierce University's Pappas Field.

            The Hawks rallied to take game two, 5-4, and earn a split of the doubleheader, scoring two runs in the sixth and seventh innings for force extras, and winning in the eighth inning on an RBI single by freshman Daniel Diaz (Teaneck, N.J.).

            The victory in the opener marked the first career victory for PSU first-year head coach Clay Jenkins.

            PSU scored three runs in the first inning of the opener and never trailed. Junior Jarek Krajewski (Cranston, R.I.) hit a two-run double to left center and freshman Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) added an RBI triple.

            After Becker plated two runs in the top of the second on a home run by junior Niko Bedell (Manorville, N.Y.) and an RBI double by sophomore Kevin Perez (Jersey City, N.J.), PSU pulled away with at least one run in each of the next four innings. Senior Jake Broom (New London, N.H.) brought home a run with a sacrifice fly in the second inning; Riley-Garnett jacked a two-run homer to left in the third; Broom drove in a run in the fourth with an infield grounder; and Riley-Garnett went deep again in the fifth with a runner aboard.

            Graduate student Cody Gilchrist (Tyngsboro, Mass.) earned the win for PSU with a complete-game effort, striking out 12 batters and allowing just four hits and two runs over seven innings.

            PSU got another strong pitching performance in the second game as senior Matti Doxter (Somersworth, N.H.) pitched five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and three walks while fanning 11. The Panthers scored four runs in support of Doxter, one on an RBI single by Goulet, one on a passed ball, one on a wild pitch, and one on a sacrifice fly by Riley-Garnett.

            Becker came back against the Panther bullpen. After loading the bases with no one out in the sixth, sophomore Christopher Testa (Providence, R.I.) scored on an infield groundout and Perez came home on a balk. Sophomore Josiah Shepherd (Providence, R.I.) delivered an RBI double to left in the seventh inning, and scored on Testa's single to center to tie the game after seven innings.

            The Hawks plated the winning run in the eighth when Diaz' single through the right side plated junior J.J. Sempkowski (Oceanport, N.J.), who reached on a two-out walk and went to second on a single by junior Vaibhav Desai (Waltham, Mass.)

            Tyler Wagar recorded the victory in relief for Becker, working scoreless three innings and allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out two.

            PSU, 1-1, will returns to action on the team's spring break trip to Fort Myers when it faces Bethel College (Minn .) in a doubleheader on Friday, Mar. 11. Becker is slated to face Nichols College at 12 noon on Sunday, Mar. 6, at NEBC-Northboro.

-- 30 --