Routhier drives in four to lead Panthers to win
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore Joe Routhier (Nashua, N.H.) had three hits and drove in four runs to lead Plymouth State University to a 12-7 win over Bethel University (Minn.) in a non-conference baseball game at Player Development Complex on Saturday.
Routhier singled twice and added a double while stealing two bases to lead the PSU offense, which reached double digits yet again. Plymouth State scored four times with two down during a five-run sixth inning to take a 8-2 lead, but the Royals answered with five runs in the seventh to pull within a run, 8-7. Routhier had a key two-run double in the eighth to help PSU extend its lead, then drove in another run in the ninth as the Panthers scored four times in the final two innings to earn the win.
Plymouth State wraps up its spring break trip with an even 4-4 mark to improve to 5-4 overall, while Bethel falls to 3-2.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 12, Bethel 7
Plymouth State (5-4)
How it Happened:
* The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI double, but Plymouth State came right back with two in the top of the second.
* The first three PSU batters reached base and a run came home on a double play ball. Sophomore Andrew Wasilefsky (Willington, Conn.) followed with a triple to center to make it 2-1.
* Bethel capitalized on a Panthers' miscue to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.
* Plymouth State went ahead for good with a run in the fourth. Junior Andrew Salta (Laconia, N.H.) singled, took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third when the catcher's throw was offline. Senior Chris Mansour (Lowell, Mass.) followed with a run-scoring double to put the Panthers ahead, 3-2.
* PSU sent nine men to the plate during a five-run sixth. Mansour doubled in a run and then the Panthers worked some two-out magic. Junior James Salta (Laconia, N.H.) reached on an infield single, junior Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.) walked and Routhier drove in a run with a single to reload the bases. Senior Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) delivered the big hit, a bases-clearing double, to make it 8-2.
* Starter Tyler Brown (Littleton, N.H.) gave way to the bullpen after going six full and the PSU relief corps immediately got into trouble. A walk and homer cut the lead to 8-4 and led to another pitching change, and after a pair of walks PSU went to the pen again. The next batter doubled to right, but Goulet and Wasilefsky executed a perfect relay throw to get an out at the plate, though the next two Royals walked to force in a run.
* Junior Alex Larson (Brunswick, Maine) came on and got a strikeout, but the next batter knocked a two-run single up the middle to make it a one-run game, 8-7, before Larson recorded the third out on an infield grounder.
* PSU came back with two runs in the eighth on Routhier's double and Larson worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning.
* The Panthers added insurance runs on run-scoring singles from Zimolka and Routhier in the ninth and Larson retired the side in order in the bottom half to pick up his first save of the year.
Inside the Numbers:
* Mansour and James Salta also had three hits for the Panthers. Mansour went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored, while J. Salta was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a steal.
* Andrew Salta (single, single) and Wasilefsky (single, triple) both had two hits as the Panthers had a season-high 16 hits in the game. PSU also matched a season-high with nine walks.
* Zimolka reached base four times from the leadoff spot and added two more steals to his season total. He's now 19-of-19 on the year.
* Brown (2-1) gave up eight hits and two runs (one earned) over his six innings and Larson went the final 2.2 innings, allowing just two singles.
* The Panthers were held scoreless in the first inning for just the second time in nine games this season.
* Plymouth State has scored 10+ runs in seven of nine games.
* Plymouth State heads back to New England and will visit WPI next Saturday (Mar. 23) for a double header played at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Mass. Game times are set for 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
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