Panthers hold off FDU-Florham, fall to Wittenberg
Fort Myers, Fla. – Sophomore Derek Walker (Littleton, N.H.) worked out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the top of the ninth to help Plymouth State University hold on for an 8-6 win over Farleigh Dickinson University-Florham in a non-conference baseball game at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic on Monday.
The Panthers were limited to one hit in the day's second game, a seven-inning, 13-0 loss to Wittenberg. The loss snaps PSU's five game win streak.
Plymouth State held leads of 3-0, 4-3 and 6-5 in the opener, but FDU-Florham came back to tie each time. Sophomore Drew Metzdorf (Burlington, Mass.) ripped an RBI double in the sixth and senior Gavin Cook (Littleton, N.H.) plated an insurance run on his sacrifice fly an inning later as PSU took an 8-6 lead. The Devils opened the ninth with three straight singles, but Walker struck out the next two batters before inducing a fly ball to end it.
Wittenberg jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and Plymouth State was unable to get the offense rolling as Metzdorf's double was the only hit of the game.
PSU ends the day with a 5-2 mark. The Panthers are off tomorrow but return to the diamond for a doubleheader with Lakeland University on Wednesday (Mar. 11).
Plymouth State 8, FDU-Florham 6
Plymouth State 0, Wittenberg 13 (7 Innings)
Plymouth State (5-2)
How it Happened (FDU-Florham):
- PSU got out to a 2-0 lead on senior Andrew Salta's (Laconia, N.H.) two-run shot to right field in the first and an inning later Cook scampered home on a passed ball and error on the catcher to make it 3-0.
- The Devils tied the game in the third on a bases loaded, three-run double, but Plymouth State went back in front an inning later as senior Jimmy Zimolka (Londonderry, N.H.) beat out a bunt hit to plate junior Andy Wasilefsky (Willington, Conn.).
- FDU-Florham answered with two runs in the fifth, but PSU's aggressiveness on the basepaths led to a pair of unearned runs in the bottom half. Senior James Salta (Laconia, N.H.) and Wasilefsky both stole third base and trotted home on throwing errors by the catcher for a 6-5 lead.
- The teams traded runs in the sixth, with Metzdorf doubling home Cook, and Cook's sacrifice fly an inning later gave the Panthers a two-run cushion.
- Walker immediately got into trouble in the ninth as the first three batters all singled. He settled down to strike out the next two hitters, before wrapping up the win with a flyball to left.
Inside the Numbers (FDU-Florham):
- Wasilefsky went 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored, while Zimolka also had two hits.
- Cook also had a good day, going 1-for-2 with a walk, RBI and two runs scored.
- Senior Mark Levesque (Milton, N.H.) got the start, giving up four runs while striking out four over four innings of work. Classmate Alex Larson (Brunswick, Maine) picked up the win (1-0) while Walker earned his second save of the year.
How it Happened (Wittenberg):
- Wittenberg took advantage of PSU's wildness to plate four in the first. The Tigers used five walks, four wild pitches and a single to grab a 4-0 lead.
- Wittenberg added a run in the second, then put the game out of reach with a five-run third.
- PSU put runners on in the second (A. Salta walk) and fourth (Metzdorf double), but both were erased caught stealing. The Panthers lone rally came in the fifth with back-to-back two-out walks, but the bats were unable to generate a run.
Inside the Numbers (Wittenberg):
- Metzdorf's double was the Panthers' only hit, while A. Salta, freshman Hunter Loomis (Glastonbury, Conn.), junior Mongeon Kim (Osaka, Japan) and sophomore Brody Fillion (Littleton, N.H.) all worked walks.
- Freshman Braxton Brown (Lancaster, N.H.) took the loss (0-1).
- The Panthers are off Tuesday but play two against Lakeland on Wednesday (Mar. 11).
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