Libby strikes out seven to earn win in opener
WATERVILLE, Maine – Senior Alex Libby (Freeport, Maine) struck out seven over seven innings to pick up the win as Plymouth State University topped Bates College, 5-3, in game one of a non-conference baseball double header at Coombs Field at Colby College on Sunday afternoon. The Bobcats earned the split with a 6-3 win in game two.
Libby surrendered just two earned over his seven innings in the opener and the Panthers scored twice in the top of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie. Junior Alex Larson (Brunswick, Maine) picked up his second save after allowing one hit over the final two innings.
Bates took an early lead in game two. The Panthers cut the deficit to 4-2 in the fourth, but the hosts tacked on two more runs in the seventh. Junior Andrew Salta (Laconia, N.H.) homered to lead off the ninth, but PSU was unable to get any closer.
Plymouth State goes to 7-6 on the season, with Bates moving to 5-6.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 5, Bates 3 (Game One)
Plymouth State 3, Bates 6 (Game Two)
Plymouth State (7-6)
How it Happened (Game One):
* Neither team scored until the fourth inning as both pitchers started the game strong on the mound.
* Senior Geoff Kayo (Londonderry, N.H.) executed a perfect hit-and-run, moving Boldwin to third, and Salta doubled in both runners for a 3-0 lead.
* Bates got one back in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly, then evened the score in the fifth. After the first two batters reached, a bunt moved them into scoring position and the next hitter doubled them in to tie the game at 3-3.
* After a scoreless sixth, the Panthers took the lead for good in the seventh. With one down, senior Chris Mansour (Lowell, Mass.) doubled down the left field line and sophomore Joe Routhier (Nashua, N.H.) knocked him in with a double of his own.
* After a great defensive play for the second out, junior Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.) singled up the middle to score Routhier and put PSU ahead 5-3.
* Bates threatened in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Libby got a key strikeout with runners on second and third to end the seventh.
* Larson entered with runners on the corners in the eighth, but picked off the lead runner at third and a fielder's choice and ground out ended the threat.
* In the ninth the Bobcats worked a leadoff walk and two outs later a ground rule double put runners on second and third, but Larson got a fly out to end the game.
Inside the Numbers (Game One):
* Libby pitched well, tossing seven-plus innings of three-run ball, scattering five hits and striking out seven to pick up the win.
* Larson picked up his second save of the year.
* Mansour and Routhier both went 2-for-4 with a double, and Kayo (single, walk) also reached base twice for PSU.
* Plymouth State outhit the Bobcats 10-6.
How it Happened (Game Two):
* Bates grabbed an early lead with a run in the first and never trailed.
* The Bobcats added three more in the third to extend the lead to 4-0.
* Plymouth State got two back in the fourth. Senior Ryan Richard (Berlin, N.H.) reached on an infield single and Goulet walked. One out later, Kayo singled in a run and Salta drew a walk to load the bases.
* Routhier drove in a run with a groundout, but Bates escaped further trouble with a fly ball to end the inning.
* The Bobcats picked up a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on two run-scoring singles to push the margin to 6-2.
* Salta homered leading off the ninth, but Bates retired the next three batters to close out the win.
Inside the Numbers (Game Two):
* Sophomore Trevor Delesdernier (Nianic, Conn.) took the loss for the Panthers, going five innings and giving up four runs (three earned) on nine hits. He walked four and struck out three.
* Goulet (single, walk, walk) was on base three times, while Salta (homer, walk) reached twice.
* Bates outhit the Panthers by a 16-6 margin, but the PSU staff forced the hosts to leave 13 men on base.
* PSU heads to #21 Babson College for a single game on Monday (Mar. 25) with first pitch set for 3:30 p.m.
* The Bobcats open NESCAC play with a three-game weekend series at Tufts University starting Friday (Mar. 29) at 3:00 p.m.
** With contributions from Bates College Sports Information **
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