Salta leads Panthers with three hits, three RBI
HENNIKER, N.H. – Junior James Salta (Laconia, N.H.) had three hits and drove in a career-high three runs, but New England College scored ten times in the bottom of the eighth to earn a 19-7 win over Plymouth State University in a non-conference baseball game at Laurie Cox Field on Thursday night.
NEC took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Salta put the Panthers in front with one swing of his bat in the top of the second after launching his third homer of the year, a two-run shot, into left center. PSU added two more runs in the frame to go ahead 4-1.
The Pilgrims relied on the long ball to get back in the game, hitting solo shots in the third and fourth and a two-run blast in the fifth to pull ahead, 6-4. The hosts extended the lead to 9-5 in the sixth, but the Panthers mounted a rally. Plymouth scored single runs in the seventh and eighth to cut the margin to 9-7, but NEC erupted for ten runs in the bottom of the frame, including a game-ending grand slam, to earn the win.
Plymouth State falls to 9-13, while the Pilgrims improve to 16-8.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 7, NEC 19 (Eight innings)
Plymouth State (9-13)
How it Happened:
* NEC plated an unearned run in the first on a sacrifice fly, but the Panthers came right back to take the lead in the second.
* Senior Ryan Boldwin (Penacook, N.H.) opened the inning with a walk and Salta lofted his third dinger of the season to left center for the lead. Sophomore Joe Routhier (Nashua, N.H.) knocked in classmate Andrew Wasilefsky (Willington, Conn.) with an RBI single and Routhier scored on an NEC error to make it 4-1.
* The Pilgrims got one back in the third on the first of two homers by sophomore Connor Morin (North Andover, Mass.).
* Senior Nick Powers (Malden, Mass.) led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot and back-to-back doubles later in the inning tied the game at 4-4.
* NEC pulled in front on Powers' second dinger of the game, a two-out, two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth.
* Salta came home on Routhier's run-scoring single to cut the margin to 6-5 in the top of the sixth, but a bases-loaded walk and two-run single by Powers in the bottom of the frame made it 9-5.
* PSU used a two-out rally to get one back in the seventh when Boldwin tripled and Salta poked a single through the right side, and senior Ryan Richard (Berlin, N.H.) drove in Routhier with a two-out hit in the eight to make it 9-7.
* The hosts put the game away in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks followed by a pair of doubles made it 12-7 and after recording two outs, another pair of walks forced in two more runs before Morin ended the game with a grand slam to right.
Inside the Numbers:
* Salta finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Routhier had two hits, scored twice and drove in two.
* Richard also had a two-hit game for the Panthers, finishing 2-for-5 with an RBI.
* Morin and Powers had huge days at the plate for the Pilgrims, combining to go 7-for-9 with four home runs, two doubles, 11 RBI and six runs scored.
* Sophomore JP Somers (Hooksett, N.H.) took the loss (0-2) after allowing three runs (two earned) over three innings of work. The Panthers' bullpen struggled, as each reliever surrendered at least one run.
* Senior Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) extended his on base streak with a single to lead off the third. He has now reached base via hit or walk in all 22 games this year.
* The Panthers return to Little East Conference action on Saturday (Apr. 13) when PSU visits Rhode Island College for a pair of games starting at 12:00 p.m.
* NEC is also in conference play on Saturday (Apr. 13), with a pair of NECC games at Dean College starting at 1:00 p.m.
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