Panthers look to regroup against Rivier on Thursday
SALEM, Mass. – Plymouth State University jumped ahead with a run in the top of the first inning, but Salem State University used a seven-run fourth inning to top the Panthers, 12-2, in a non-conference baseball game at The Central Campus Baseball Field on Wednesday night.
Sophomore Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.) manufactured a run with his baserunning in the top of the first. After working a walk to start the inning he alertly moved to second on a wild pitch, then stole third and came home on an RBI groundout by junior Geoff Kayo (Londonderry, N.H.).
PSU got a runner to third with in the top of the second when junior Ryan Boldwin (Manchester, N.H.) walked, was sacrificed to second and took third on a wild pitch, but Salem State starter Ryan Kelleher (Hanover, Mass.) escaped the jam with a strikeout and groundout.
Freshman Marc Phinney (Gloucester, Mass.) retired the first six Vikings, but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back singles and a passed ball put runners on second and third with nobody out. Phinney nearly escaped unscathed after inducing a strikeout and groundout, but senior Alex Toomey (Beverly, Mass.) tripled to score both runners. Phinney avoided additional trouble with a popup.
Plymouth State got the first two runners on in the fourth. Senior Nate Frederick (Worcester, Mass.) singled, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Boldwin followed with a walk and steal of second to put two runners in scoring position, but Frederick was erased on a pickoff and Kelleher got an infield grounder and popup to end the threat.
Salem State blew the game open in the bottom half of the inning with the help of a Panther miscue. With one out and runners on the corners, senior Jose Cedano (Lawrence, Mass.) singled in a run to start the rally. After a fielder's choice for the second out, a Panther error opened the floodgates. The next two batters reached with base hits, then sophomore Kyle O'Connor (Lynn, Mass.) tripled and junior Zac Duval (Middleton, Mass.), who doubled to start the inning, singled in the seventh run of the inning to chase Phinney. Reliever Joshua Guptill (Clemson, S.C.) stopped the bleeding with a strikeout. Only one of the seven runs was earned.
The Panthers fought back with a run in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Andrew Salta (Laconia, N.H.) tripled to the right center field gap, then came home on Zimolka's single to make it 9-2, but that was all the PSU bats could muster.
The Vikings tacked on three additional runs in the bottom of the frame and Plymouth didn't threaten from there.
Phinney took the loss to drop to 0-2 after surrendering nine runs on ten hits over 3.2 innings. Only three of the runs were earned, though, and he struck out five. Boldwin reached base three times (single, two walks) and Zimolka twice (single, walk). Zimolka also stole two bases. Junior Cam Cossette (Milford, Mass.) and senior Kyle McCarthy (Nashua, N.H.) combined to allow just one base hit in their three innings of work out of the bullpen.
Kelleher earned the win to even his record at 1-1. He walked four and allowed five hits, but just two runs, in his six innings. Cedano and Toomey both finished with three hits. Cedano scored three times and Toomey drove in five. Just four of the Vikings 12 runs were earned.
The setback drops the Panthers to 9-10 on the year, while Salem State improves to 13-9. PSU is right back in action on Thursday (Apr. 12) with a non-conference game with Rivier University at Holman Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. The Vikings are also back on the diamond Thursday, playing host to Endicott College at 3:30 p.m.
– 30 –