Four-run seventh inning leads Panthers to victory
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to top Salem State University, 10-8, in a non-conference baseball game at Panther Park on Thursday afternoon.
Salem State (18-15) had fought back from a 6-0 deficit by scoring three runs in the fifth and sixth innings, then adding a single run in the top of the seventh to pull ahead, 7-6. The Panthers tied the game three batters into the bottom of the frame, and went ahead with three more runs after a pair of walks, two singles and a wild pitch.
Plymouth State (12-14) used four pitchers in the back-and-forth game, with junior Alex Libby (Freeport, Maine) picking up his first win of the season. Sophomore Sean Engel (Tyngsboro, Mass.) earned his first career save after getting the final six outs for the Panthers.
PSU came out on fire in the first inning when senior Nate Frederick (Worcester, Mass.) hit a hard-shot double to center field that drove in the first two runs. Sophomore Ben Curry (Hampstead, N.H.) added the third run in the opening frame after a double of his own to plate Frederick.
In the third, junior Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) hit the Panthers' fourth double of the game, scoring classmate Ryan Richard (Berlin, N.H.) on great base running from first. Senior Luke Mancini (Scotia, N.Y.) would give Plymouth State a six-run lead on a single that drove in Curry and Goulet.
The Vikings started their comeback in the fifth when sophomore Kyle O'Connor (Lynn, Mass.) singled to center to knock in Salem's first run. A balk brought in a second run, and senior Mac Daniel Singleton (Everett, Mass.) followed with a run-scoring single that knocked PSU starter JP Somers (Hooksett, N.H.) out of the game.
Salem State tied the game in the sixth. With two outs and runners on the corners, the Vikings' came up with three straight RBI singles, one each from freshman Shawn Rebello (Milford, Mass.), O'Connor and Singleton, before the Panthers were able to record the third out. SSU took the lead in the seventh with a run-scoring groundout.
PSU took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. Junior Geoff Kayo (Londonderry, N.H.) ripped a leadoff double to right center, moved to third on a groundball and came home on Goulet's single to even the game at 7-7. After the Vikings recorded the second out, back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Sophomore Gavin Cook (Littleton, N.H.) drove in the go-ahead run with an infield hit, then a wild pitch and RBI single from freshman Joe Routhier (Nashua, N.H.) made it a 10-7 lead for PSU.
Salem got a run back in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate with one away, but Engel got a comebacker and started a 1-6-3 double play to end the game.
Goulet led the way offensively for the Panthers, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored. Frederick and Mancini also drove in a pair.
Singleton shined for the Vikings, going 3-for-5 with two RBI. Freshman Ryan Davis (West Nyack, N.Y.) threw 2.2 innings, giving up six runs on six hits, but freshman Justin Horvath (Saugus, Mass.) took the loss to drop to 0-1.
Plymouth State continues its seven-game home stand with a return to Little East Conference play on Saturday (Apr. 28), when the Panthers host #5 University of Massachusetts Boston for a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m.
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