KEENE, N.H. – Plymouth State College out-hit archrival Keene State College 10-4 Wednesday afternoon, but the Owls pulled out a 3-1 Little East Conference baseball victory.
Keene State avenges a tough 4-3 loss to PSC earlier this season when the Panthers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Owls improve to 9-15 overall and 4-4 in conference play, while the Panthers fall to 12-14 overall and 2-6 in the LEC.
Sophomore pitcher Jim Slack (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) scattered 10 hits and struck out eight to lead the Owls and pick up his first win of the season (1-3). Junior Josh Forest (Manchester, N.H./Trinity) was the tough-luck loser for PSC, falling to 1-3 despite pitching a complete game and allowing only four hits and three runs (two earned), fanning six.
The Owls took a 1-0 lead in the second when Eric Kilburn (Keene, N.H.) doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Masseur (Warwick, R.I.). The Panthers evened the score in the fourth when sophomore Derek Guimond (Lewiston, Maine) drew a bases-loaded walk to score senior Jay Zinis (Manchester, N.H.), who had reached on an error and advanced on hits by Matt Salokangas (New Ipswich, N.H.) and Nick Libera (Cromwell, Conn.).
KSC took the lead for good in the fifth when Masseur reached third on a PSC outfield error, and came around to score on a Tim Kendrick (Middletown, R.I.) sacrifice fly. The Owls added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI double by Justin Hickman (Mont Vernon, N.H.).
The Panthers had several opportunities to score more runs, but left 11 runners on base, including three in the fourth inning and two in the second, third and seventh frames.
Slack pitched into the eighth inning for KSC, and Pat Austin (Wallingford, Conn.) came in to pick up the save.
PSC returns home to host of pair of LEC doubleheaders this weekend at Panther Park – Saturday at 12 noon against Rhode Island College and Sunday at noon in a make-up against UMass Dartmouth. Keene State hosts Westfield State Thursday at 3:30 p.m.