Mancini, Doxter lead Panthers to victory in opener
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Plymouth State University split in a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Corsair Field. With the win in the second game, the Corsairs go to 8-10 on the year and pick up their first conference win on the year (1-3), while Plymouth State is now 12-10 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
Plymouth State 11, UMass Dartmouth 4
Sophomore Luke Mancini (Scotia, N.Y.) went 2-4 and had five RBI in game one to power the Panthers lineup. Senior Matti Doxter (Somersworth, N.H.) earned his first win of the year after going 7.1 innings and striking out seven Corsairs.
Plymouth State got the scoring started in the top of the second when junior James Garnett (Newport, R.I.) scored on a wild pitch. Mancini crossed the plate on a bunt that got by the Corsair pitcher to push the lead to 2-0 in favor of the visiting team.
In the next inning, Mancini made the Corsairs pay after intentionally walking Garnett. The sophomore centerfielder for Plymouth State sent the offering from senior Steve Colella (Leominster, Mass.) over the left field fence to clear the bases for a grand slam. The Panthers would tag Colella with one more run in the top half of the inning when sophomore Cam Ruziak (Sterling, Mass.) singled to center field and scored freshman Josh Goulet (Nashua, NH.) from second.
Freshman DeVon King (Carver, Mass.) answered back in the bottom of the third when he laced a double down the right field line to score both sophomore Ervin Kantardzic (Roslindale, Mass.) and classmate Ryan Ainslie (Weymouth, Mass.) to put the Corsairs on the board.
The Panthers added on three more runs in the top of the sixth. Junior Jarek Krajewski (Cranston, R.I.) took two bases when he found the left center gap, scoring sophomore Nate Frederick (Worcester, Mass.). Garnett drove in senior Dave Hall (Groton, Conn.) when he grounded out to the third baseman. One batter later, Mancini successfully bunted for a hit, plating Krajewski.
King led off the bottom of the eighth, when he ripped a double into the right center gap. He would score on a single to center by freshman Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.).
Senior Mike Laflamme (Bedford, NH.) singled past the third baseman to push the Panthers' lead to eight in the top of the ninth. Corsair sophomore Chance Gendron (Norwich, Conn.) then collected his first hit on the season when he singled to right field to score Kantardzic with two outs from second.
Plymouth State 0, UMass Dartmouth 2
Sophomore Mac Curran (Lakeville, Mass.) nearly picked up his second complete game of the year in his second start at home. The Corsair southpaw struck out four Panthers over his 8.2 innings of work, yielding just five hits.
The two runs of the game came in the bottom of the second inning, when sophomore catcher Brandon Polignone (Peabody, Mass.) led off the frame with a single to left center field. After Polignone advanced to second on a wild pitch, Ramirez drew a walk, and was followed Ainslie who walked to load the bases.
Polignone tagged and scored on a pop-up in short left field that the shortstop collected. The lead would be pushed to 2-0 after King grounded out to the Panther pitcher, scoring Ramirez from third.
The two tallies were enough for Curran, who kept the Plymouth State bats quiet, with four 1-2-3 innings in the night cap and would keep the Panthers from any scoring threat. Sophomore Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.) came in with two outs in the top of the ninth to shut the door, earning his second save of the season.
Sophomore Kyle McCarthy (Nashua, NH.) took the loss for Plymouth State, starting the game and going 1.2 innings to surrender both Corsair runs. Classmate Ryan Perro (Glen Head, N.Y.) pitched the remaining 6.1 innings in relief of McCarthy, striking out three and allowing five hits.
Plymouth State's scheduled home opener on Monday against Framingham State University has been postponed to Friday, Apr. 22. The Panthers hope to make their season debut at Panther Park on Wednesday against Salem State University.
(Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information)
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