Panthers belt five home runs, swipe 12 bags in season opener
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – Sophomore Joe Routhier (Nashua, N.H.) went 3-for-4 and stole a school-record six bases to lead Plymouth State University to a 13-7 win over Nichols College in a non-conference baseball game at the New England Baseball Complex on Monday afternoon.
Plymouth State matched program records with 12 steals and five home runs while scoring in six different innings. Junior Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.), senior Ryan Boldwin (Penacook, N.H.) and sophomore Andrew Wasilefsky (Willington, Conn.) all blasted dingers in a four-run third to help Plymouth State erase a 4-1 deficit and the Panthers never looked back.
Plymouth State wins its second straight season opener, while the Bison drop to 0-2 on the young season.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 13, Nichols 7
Plymouth State (1-0)
How it Happened:
* PSU took advantage of a Nichols' miscue in the top of the first as senior Geoff Kayo (Londonderry, N.H.) put the Panthers up 1-0 with a sacrifice fly.
* Nichols struck back with a pair of runs in the bottom half and the Bison added two more in the second to go up 4-1.
* Zimolka homered over the right field fence to lead off the top of the third and Kayo was hit by a pitch, but a double play erased the runner. Boldwin followed with a blast to right and, after a walk to junior Andrew Salta (Laconia, N.H.), Wasilefksy launched a ball over the wall in right center to put the Panthers on top, 5-4.
* Staked to the lead, junior Tyler Brown (Littleton, N.H.) surrendered just two singles over the next three innings. PSU tacked on three more runs in the top of the fourth on a two-run double from senior Jeff Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) and Salta's RBI base hit.
* Nichols scored on an error in the seventh and the teams traded single runs in the eighth on Goulet's solo shot to left and an RBI double for the Bison.
* The Panthers put the game out of reach with three more in the top of the ninth. Routhier scored on a wild pitch and Zimolka drove in senior Chris Mansour (Lowell, Mass.) with a sac fly before Kayo went deep to tie the team record.
* Nichols got a run back and loaded the bases with two down in the bottom of the inning, but Kayo came in to close out the game with a strikeout.
Inside the Numbers:
* Every batter reached base for the Panthers and eight of the nine starters recorded base hits.
* Goulet and Boldwin each had a pair of hits, while Goulet drove in three runs.
* Zimolka, Kayo and Wasilefsky drove in two runs apiece.
* Brown (1-0) struck out six over his five innings of work to pick up the win.
* Senior Joe Assenza (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and graduate student Chris Anderson (Naugatuck, Conn.) combined for seven of the Bisons' 12 hits.
* PSU has twice before hit five home runs in a game, most recently in 1990 against then-Castleton State College.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We came out well-prepared," said head coach Clay Jenkins. "The guys worked incredibly hard this off-season and it's refreshing to see their readiness stem from that. We have a deep team this year with different dynamic ways to score and stop runs. Today was a good start to the season to launch us into our Florida trip."
* The Panthers are back in action on Saturday (Mar. 9) for the first of eight games in Fort Myers, Florida. PSU opens the spring trip with a single game against Rockford University with first pitch set for 3:00 p.m.
* Nichols hosts Becker College on Tuesday (Mar. 5) at the New England Baseball Complex at 3:30 p.m.
– 30 –