Panthers fall twice in LEC doubleheader
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Frank Pettinato (Cranston, R.I.) went 6-for-9 and drove in nine runs to lead the Rhode Island College baseball team to a pair of wins over Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference (LEC) doubleheader at Pontarelli Field on Saturday afternoon.
PSU scored three times in the top of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead in the opener, but the Anchormen answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings to take game one by a 9-4 margin. The Panthers held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in game two before RIC plated six runs in the third inning to pull away in the nightcap, 13-3.
Plymouth State falls to 9-8 on the year and 2-2 in LEC play, while RIC improves to 11-8 and 3-1 in league action.
RIC drew first blood with a first inning run in the opener when Pettinato drove in senior Brad Douglas (South Kingstown, R.I.) with a two-out double.
Sophomore Andrew Salta (Laconia, N.H.) doubled to lead off the top of the third but he was erased trying to steal third and the Panthers were unable to score.
The Anchormen pushed across another run in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded and two away, an errant pickoff throw allowed Douglas to score from third to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.
PSU rallied in the top of the sixth to pull in front. Junior Ryan Richard (Berlin, N.H.) singled to start the inning. Junior Geoff Kayo (Londonderry, N.H.) reached after a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt. The error allowed Richard to score all the way from first and Kayo advanced to second. Junior Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) followed with a single to right, then stole second and senior Nate Frederick (Worcester, Mass.) drove them both in with a two-run single to put PSU on top, 3-2.
Rhode Island responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. Sophomore Ray Zincone (West Warwick, R.I.) worked a one-out walk, then moved to second on a groundout before coming home on an RBI double by sophomore Josh Silva (Seekonk, Mass.).
The Anchormen took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh. Following a one-out walk, Pettinato drove one over the fence for a two-run shot. A pair of doubles later in the inning made it a 6-3 lead for the home team.
Plymouth got one run back in the eighth. Frederick singled and pinch hitter Joe Routhier (Nashua, N.H.) doubled to put two runners in scoring position with one away. Senior Luke Mancini (Scotia, N.Y.) lifted a sac fly to center to cut the deficit to 6-4.
RIC put the game away in the bottom of the frame, pushing three more runs across. Pettinato drove in two of the runs with bases loaded single.
PSU loaded the bases in the top of the ninth but RIC was able to escape unscathed.
Frederick went 3-4 with a run and two RBI in the loss. Junior pitcher Dylan Gaita (Melrose, Mass.) went the first five, allowing two runs while striking out four. Freshman Will Austin (Sunapee, N.H.) took the loss, surrendering three runs in an inning-and-a-third to fall to 0-1.
Pettinato finished 4-5 with two runs scored and five RBI. Silva also had a four-hit game. Senior Daniel Greaves (Warwick, R.I.) earned the win to improve to 3-0, giving up three runs, one earned, in six innings of work.
Richard and Kayo both reached and stole a base in the top of the first and Frederick plated a run with an RBI groundout to put PSU in front, 1-0.
RIC answered right back in the bottom of the inning. Douglas walked, then scored from first on a double from junior Tyler Walsh (Cumberland, R.I.). Walsh crossed the plate after a wild pitch to put the hosts ahead, 2-1.
Plymouth evened the score in the top of the third when senior Cam Ruziak (Sterling, Mass.) singled, moved to second on a bunt and came home on a Kayo double. Kayo stole third, but was stranded.
The Anchormen exploded for six runs in the bottom half to take control. Pettinato drove in two with a bases loaded single and Zincone added a two-run double later in the inning as RIC sent ten men to the plate.
Trailing 8-2, the Panthers looked to rally in the top of the fourth. Three straight singles loaded the bases with nobody out, but a 6-4-3 double play kept PSU from a big inning. Junior Ryan Boldwin (Manchester, N.H.) touched home, but that was all the Panthers could muster.
RIC followed with three more in the bottom half to make it 11-3, then added a pair in the seventh to wrap up the win.
Kayo was the only Panther to reach base twice, going 2-4 with an RBI. Junior David Sampson (Bellingham, Mass.) was touched for eight runs over his three innings to fall to 2-2.
Senior Shaun Vigeant (Coventry, R.I.) led RIC with a 3-4 performance as the Anchormen pounded out 14 hits. Classmate Andrew Viega (Lincoln, R.I.) earned the win to improve to 2-3, throwing all seven innings while giving up three runs.
The Panthers are back in action on Monday (Apr. 9) with a road game at Fitchburg State University. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.
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