Panthers stymied by six Bobcats' pitchers
LEWISTON, Maine – The Plymouth State University baseball team was limited to just three hits as six Bates College pitchers combined to hand the Panthers their first shutout loss of the year, 7-0, in a non-conference game at Leahey Field on Thursday night.
With the setback the Panthers (9-6) have their four-game winning streak halted, while Bates has won two straight to improve to 5-9.
Bates got tremendous pitching from six players who combined to hold Plymouth State to just three hits. Sophomore Will Slayne (Dedham, Mass.), the third Bobcats' pitcher of the game, was credited with the win, throwing two innings of one hit ball to move to 1-0 on the year.
Junior Tyler Shemick (Foster, R.I.) got the nod for the Panthers. The six-foot righty surrendered five runs in two-plus innings of work, allowing three hits and four walks to fall to 1-3. Freshman Marc Phinney (Gloucester, Mass.) came on in relief and allowed two runs in four innings of work while striking out six and junior Alex Libby (Freeport, Maine) and freshman Joshua Guptill (Clemson, S.C.) combined to give up just a walk in two innings of relief.
PSU was unable to scratch out a run in the first despite a hit batter, two walks and three stolen bases. Junior Ryan Richard (Berlin, N.H.) was plunked by starter Brendan Smith (Hingham, Mass.) to open the game. With one out he stole second and third and junior Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) took first after working a walk. Goulet swiped second to put two runners in scoring position with one away. Following a strikeout, junior Ryan Boldwin (Manchester, N.H.) was granted a free pass, but a strike out squashed the rally.
The Bates offense erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the third. A double, walk and hit batter loaded the bases with nobody out and a wild pitch moved everyone up 90-feet. Two more walks forced in another run and reloaded the bases, ending Shemick's night. Phinney nearly got out of the inning, getting a huge strikeout and cutting down a run at the plate after a comebacker, but a two-run double followed by a two-RBI single made it 6-0 and two more singles plated the seventh Bobcats' run.
Phinney allowed just two hits and no runs over his next three innings of work, but the Panther offense couldn't get anything started. PSU had a leadoff walk in the fourth, but the next batter hit into a double play. Senior Luke Mancini (Scotia, N.Y.) followed with a clean single to left, but was cut down attempt to steal second.
The Panthers got a runner into scoring position in the top of the fifth when Richard singled and moved to second on a wild pitch, but an infield groundball ended the frame.
Sophomore Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.) reached on an error to start the eighth, but was stranded on third.
Plymouth was gifted a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth, but the next two batters made outs. Junior Chris Mansour (Lowell, Mass.) and sophomore Gavin Cook (Littleton, N.H.) worked pinch hit walks to load the bases but sophomore Ryan Moralejo (Miami, Fla.) induced a groundball to first to wrap up the game.
Richard finished with two of the Panthers' three hits and reached base a third time after the hit-by-pitch. He also stole two bases. Boldwin reached base twice with a pair of walks.
The Panthers resume Little East Conference (LEC) play with two games at Rhode Island College on Saturday. Game one is set for 12:00 p.m., with the second game anticipated to start at 3:00 p.m.
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