Panthers overcome nine-run deficit to outslug Colonials in opener
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Plymouth State University baseball team rallied from a nine-run deficit in the first game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon, defeating Western Connecticut State University 13-11 before the Colonials turned the tables in the nightcap with a 12-6 victory.
Trailing 10-1 after five innings of the opener, PSU scored four runs in the sixth inning and exploded for seven runs in the seventh frame. Juniors Cam Ruziak (Sterling, Mass.) and Mitch Sytulek (Raymond, N.H.) and sophomore Ryan Richard (Berlin, N.H.) collected RBI singles in the sixth inning. Seventh inning highlights included a two-run single by junior Luke Mancini (Scotia, N.Y.), an RBI single by sophomore Ryan Boldwin (Manchester, N.H./Trinty), a bases-loaded walk by Sytulek, and a bases-loaded three-run double by senior James Garnett (Newport, R.I.)
The split leaves PSU with a 9-7 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the LEC, while Western is now 10-8 overall and 1-1 in conference play. The games were played at Central Connecticut State University.
NCAA College Baseball – Little East Conference
at Central Conn. State Univ., New Britain, Conn. – Saturday, April 8, 2017
Plymouth State 13, Western Connecticut 11
Western Connecticut 12, Plymouth State 6
Records: Plymouth State 9-7 (2-2 LEC); Western Connecticut 10-8 (1-1 LEC)
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS
* PSU put a run on the board in the top of the first inning, but Western Conn. scored the next 10 runs in the game. All of the runs in a five-run third inning came home on RBI doubles by EJ Lavoie, Frank Vartuli and Zach Sagar. Lavoie added another run-scoring double in the fourth inning, and a two-run single by Stanly Rijo and an RBI triple by Clete LoRusso highlighted a four-run fifth inning.
* The Panthers started their comeback in the sixth inning with four runs, with four straight RBI hits by sophomore Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.), Ruziak, Richard and Sytulek
* PSU rallied to take the lead with a seven-run seventh inning. Mancini had a two-run single, Boldwin singled in a run, Sytuled had the RBI walk, and Garnett's crowning blow with the base-clearing double to right center.
* Western threatened in the bottom of the ninth, scoring a run to cut the margin to 13-11 and putting two runners on base with no outs, but PSU junior Taylor Doyle (Peterborough, N.H.) induced a double-play ball and struck out the final batter to close out his first save.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS
* Plymouth State had a 4-3 lead through five innings. Senior Jarek Krajewski (Cranston, R.I.) and junior Nate Frederick (Worcester, Mass.) had RBI singles for PSU in the first inning, and Boldwin cracked his first career home run to right field with a man on in the third.
* The game turned in the middle innings as Western scored six runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh. PSU tried to come back in ninth inning, scoring two runs and loading the bases, but a strikeout ended the game.
* Mancini had three hits for the Panther offense, while Richard, Krajewski and Boldwin had two hits each.
* PSU gets back into action Monday in a game against Framingham State University. The game will be played at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H. at 7 p.m. The Rams defeated the Panthers in the season opener, 3-1, on Mar. 7 in Northborough, Mass.
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