Panthers pound five homers to win opener
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – For the second time this season the Plymouth State University baseball team rocked five home runs in a game to match a program record as the Panthers split a non-conference double header with Worcester Polytechnic Institute at the New England Baseball Complex on Saturday.
The Panthers took the opener, 14-9, rallying from a 6-0 deficit behind the five home runs, including three in a six-run sixth inning. WPI answered with a 19-10 win in game two to earn the split.
After not hitting five home runs in a game since the 1990 season, the Panthers have now accomplished the feat twice in the last ten games.
With the split Plymouth State moves to 6-5 on the year, while WPI goes to 13-4.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 14, WPI 9 (Game One)
Plymouth State 10, WPI 19 (Game Two)
Plymouth State (6-5)
How it Happened (Game One):
* WPI got out to a hot start with a six-run bottom of the first. The Engineers rocked four doubles and a pair of singles and added a run on a sacrifice fly to take the quick lead.
* PSU chipped away over the next four innings to even the game. Junior Andrew Salta (Laconia, N.H.) belted his first homer of the season, a solo shot to right, to get a run back in the second.
* Richard made it a one-run game with an RBI single to plate junior Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.) in the fourth and PSU tied the game in the fifth when Salta came in to score on a WPI fielding error.
* WPI went right back in front, plating a run on a double play grounder, but the Plymouth State offense erupted for six runs in the next half inning.
* Zimolka doubled and Richard launched a shot to center to put the Panthers back in front, 8-6. Boldwin followed a hit batsman with a two-run blast to extend the lead and after a Salta single, senior Chris Mansour (Lowell, Mass.) went deep to right to make it 12-7.
* Senior Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) tacked on a run with his team-leading sixth home run of the year in the seventh and classmate Geoff Kayo (Londonderry, N.H.) made it 14-7 with a sacrifice fly later in the frame.
* WPI pushed two across in the bottom of the inning on a two-run shot, but PSU's bullpen kept the Engineers from mounting a late rally.
Inside the Numbers (Game One):
* Richard went 3-of-5 with a career-high four RBI, while Boldwin (3-for-5) and Salta (3-for-5) also had three hits for the Panthers. Boldwin drove in three.
* Zimolka went 4-for-6 and scored three times atop the lineup. He added a stolen base, but was also thrown out for the first time this season. He's now 20-for-21 on the year.
* Senior Cam Cossette (Milford, Mass.) recovered from the rough first inning to strike out six over five innings and improve to 2-0 on the season.
How it Happened (Game Two):
* WPI got out to a quick lead in game two as well with a pair of first inning runs.
* Plymouth State came right back in the second when Zimolka gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead with a two-out, three-run shot to center.
* The Engineers used a four-run third to go back in front. WPI tied the game on a two-out single, took the lead on a passed ball and plated two more on a two-run double to make it 6-3.
* WPI added another run in the bottom of the fourth, but PSU came back in the fifth. Sophomore Joe Routhier (Nashua, N.H.) knocked in a run with a bases-loaded single. Mansour was hit by a pitch to bring home another run and junior James Salta (Laconia, N.H.) cut it to 7-6 with a fielder's choice.
* WPI answered right back, pushing five runs across in the bottom of the inning. Andrew Salta got a run back with a solo shot in the seventh to make it 12-7, but the Engineers tacked on seven more to take a commanding 19-7 lead.
* Plymouth tried to mount a rally, scoring three times in the top of the ninth, but WPI was able to hold on for the win.
Inside the Numbers (Game Two):
* Routhier had the lone multi-hit game for the Panthers, going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored.
* Zimolka drove in three in the leadoff spot, all on his three-run shot.
* Junior Mark Levesque (Milton, N.H.) took the loss, going 2.2 innings while surrendering six runs (five earned).
* Plymouth State has scored ten or more runs in all but two games this season.
* The Panthers are right back in action on Sunday (Mar. 24) with a pair of games against Bates College played on the campus of Colby College in Waterville, Maine. First pitch for game one is set for 12:00 p.m.
* WPI opens NEWMAC play on Tuesday (Mar. 26) at Babson College.
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