PSU Baseball tops Keene State to keep playoff hopes alive

PSU Baseball tops Keene State to keep playoff hopes alive

Sampson throws complete game on Senior Day

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior David Sampson (Bellingham, Mass.) went the distance, striking out eight in his first start of the year, to lead Plymouth State University to a 10-2 win over Keene State College in a Little East Conference (LEC) baseball game at Parish Field on Tuesday afternoon.

            Sampson got off to a slow start as the Owls put multiple runners on base to score single runs in each of the first two innings. He settled down nicely, though, retiring 15 of the next 17 batters to cruise through the middle innings.

            PSU quickly erased a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the first and, after the Owls cut the margin to 3-2, the hosts tacked on four more in the second. Seniors Ryan Richard (Berlin, N.H.) and Gavin Cook (Littleton, N.H.) both had two hits and drove in multiple runs to lead the offense, while classmate Josh Goulet (Nashua, N.H.) extended his season-long on base streak to 34 games after another 2-for-4 effort.

            Prior to the game, Plymouth State recognized its 12 seniors in a brief on-field ceremony; Richard, Cook, Goulet, Sampson, Cam Cossette (Milford, Mass.), Sean Engel (Tyngsboro, Mass.), Chris Mansour (Lowell, Mass.), Geoff Kayo (Londonderry, N.H.), Dylan Gaita (Melrose, Mass.), Ryan Boldwin (Penacook, N.H.), Alex Libby (Freeport, Maine) and manager Jacob Scheinman (Plymouth, N.H.).

            With the win the Panthers improve to 14-20 and 5-9 in the LEC. Plymouth State needs to win its final two conference games and get some help to squeak into the LEC Tournament for a second straight year. Keene State falls to 9-22 and 3-11 in league play.


            The Final Score:

            Plymouth State 10, Keene State 2



            Plymouth State (14-20, 5-9 LEC)

            Keene State (9-22, 3-11 LEC)


            How it Happened:

            * Keene used a two-out rally to grab a first inning lead. Junior Connor Walsh (Goffstown, N.H.) doubled to the left center field gap and senior Connor Longley (Foxboro, Mass.) blooped a single to shallow center for a 1-0 lead.

            * The Panthers came right back in the bottom of the inning. Junior Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.) singled and stole second and Goulet followed with a base hit. With one down, Richard drove in a run with a single to right, advancing to second on the throw. Kayo lofted a sacrifice fly to center and both runners tagged. The Owls' throw to third went into the PSU dugout allowing a second run to come home.

            * Sampson's momentary wildness led to KSC's run in the second. Junior Ryan Linehan (Bedford, N.H.) pushed a single through the right side and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches, before junior Sam Czel (Newtown, Conn.) brought him home with a run-scoring single to make it 3-2.

            * A walk and Cook single opened the bottom of the second. The runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt and Zimolka singled to make it 4-2. Goulet hit a comebacker, but the pitcher's throw was off target putting runners on the corners and allowing another run to come home. Goulet stole second and two batters later Richard poked a single up the middle to push the lead to 7-2.

            * Sampson got into a rhythm, setting down the Owls in order on nine pitches in the third. He allowed only two baserunners from the third through seventh innings on a hit batter and infield single.

            * Plymouth State tacked on two more in the fifth when Cook doubled down the right field line to plate a pair of unearned runs.

            * PSU's tenth run came in the seventh. With one away, Kayo singled and stole second before Mansour knocked an RBI single to left to make it 10-2.

            * The Owls would threaten in the eighth as junior Tom Meucci (Newington, Conn.) singled up the middle and Walsh walked with one out, but Sampson induced an infield popup and fly ball to right to retire the side.


            Inside the Numbers:

            * Sampson's eight strikeouts matched the most in a game since his freshman year. He scattered seven hits and allowed just the two runs while throwing 142 pitches to improve to 2-1.

            * Zimolka (two singles), Goulet (single, double), Richard (two singles) and Cook (single, double) all had two-hit games for the Panthers.

            * Richard drove in three runs, while Cook plated two.

            * Zimolka and Goulet each had two stolen bases as the Panthers were a perfect 6-for-6 on the base paths.

            * Linehan was the lone Owl with a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-4.

            * Sophomore Brian Vieira (Wethersfield, Conn.) took the loss to fall to 1-3 after allowing seven runs (four earned) over four innings.


            Up Next:

            * Plymouth State heads to #3 University of Southern Maine on Friday (May 3) to close out the LEC schedule. Games are set for noon and 3:00 p.m.

            * The Owls visit Middlebury College on Wednesday (May 1) for a 4:00 p.m. non-conference game.




PSU seniors with their families prior to the game




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