Richard reaches base three times, Kayo knocks in three
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Ryan Richard (Berlin, N.H.) had two hits and classmate Geoff Kayo (Londonderry, N.H.) drove in three runs, but fifth-seeded Plymouth State University was eliminated from the Little East Conference (LEC) baseball tournament following an 8-3 setback to sixth-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Game Four at Monan Park on Thursday afternoon.
The setback ends the Panthers' season with a 16-19 record, while UMass Dartmouth will advance to play in another elimination game on Friday.
The Corsairs jumped in front in the first. Sophomore Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) poked a leadoff single to left and after a walk, sophomore Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.) socked a three-run shot over the high wall in left for a quick 3-0 lead.
UMass Dartmouth tacked on another run in the second. Junior Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) singled, stole second and advanced to third when the throw went into center field. Following a strikeout the Corsairs executed a perfect safety squeeze to take a 4-0 lead.
Ramirez started another UMD rally in the fourth when he opened the inning with a double. After a hit batter, the Corsairs bunted the runners over and an error allowed Ramirez to cross the plate. Tellier followed with a run-scoring infield hit to make it 6-0.
Plymouth State broke through with a clutch hit to cut the deficit in half in the fifth. Sophomore Ben Curry (Hampstead, N.H.) rapped one-out single through the left side and freshman Joe Routhier (Nashua, N.H.) punched a two-out base hit to right before sophomore Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kayo got ahead 3-0 before pitcher Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.) battled back with a pair of strikes to run the count full. Kayo ripped the next pitch to right field for a bases-clearing double to cut the margin to 6-3.
UMass Dartmouth added a couple of insurance runs in the seventh. The first two batters reached before an infield popup for the first out. Senior Kenny Michael (Norwood, Mass.) followed with an RBI double and a balk pushed across the eighth Corsairs' run.
Richard tucked a one-out double down the left field line in the top of the eighth, but was stranded at second after a pair of fly outs, and the Panthers went down in order in the ninth.
Richard finished 2-for-3 and drew a walk to reach base three times. Kayo had the big three-run double and Zimolka, Curry and Routhier had the other PSU hits. Sophomore Tyler Brown (Littleton, N.H.) took the loss after surrendering six runs, five earned, over 3.1 innings. He struck out two but fell to 2-2. Sophomore Sean Engel (Tyngsboro, Mass.) and juniors David Sampson (Bellingham, Mass.) and Alex Libby (Freeport, Maine) combined to throw 4.2 innings in relief, giving up just two hits and two runs.
Cronin (6-1) earned the win after giving up three runs and five hits over six innings, while senior Mac Curran (Lakeville, Mass.) worked the final three innings to pick up his first save.
The Panthers were making their tenth appearance in the tournament and second in three years under head coach Clay Jenkins. The loss marks the end of the careers of seniors Mitch Sytulek (Raymond, N.H.), Cam Ruziak (Sterling, Mass.), Nate Frederick (Worcester, Mass.), Kyle McCarthy (Nashua, N.H.), Luke Mancini (Scotia, N.Y.), Ryan Perro (Glen Head, N.Y.) and graduate student Dallas DeFrancesco (Meriden, Conn.).
– 30 –