PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior C.J. Rousseau (Merrimack, N.H.) highlighted a five-run ninth inning Thursday afternoon with a three-run, walk-off home run, handing Plymouth State University a dramatic 6-5 victory over Becker College in a non-conference baseball game at Panther Park.
The victory breaks a six-game losing streak for the Panthers, improving them to 4-10 overall, while Becker dropped its third straight and fell to 6-8.
PSU freshman Jim VanGyzen (Foster, R.I.) and Becker senior Mike Carbonneau (Oxford, Mass.) were locked in a pitcher’s duel, with the score tied 1-1 after seven innings.
The Hawks took a 4-1 lead with three runs in the eighth inning off a PSU reliever, two coming home on a home run by freshman Kevin Renaud (Southbridge, Mass.). Freshman Nick Clemente (Worcester, Mass.) followed with a double and later scored on a balk. The Hawks extended the lead to 5-1 in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Cory Shepherd (Worcester, Mass.)
Sophomore Dylan Mullin (Derry, N.H.) drew a lead-off walk in the bottom of the ninth to start the Panther comeback. One out later, sophomore Trevor Hall (New Boston, N.H.) and senior Matt Gabellieri (Lincoln, R.I.) contributed consecutive singles to load the bases. An infield error by Becker led to two Panther runs, and with two outs, Rousseau deposited the pitch over the left-field fence for the game-winner.
Freshman Steve Wheeler (Lancaster, N.H.) picked up the win in relief for PSU, while junior Devin Caron (Portland, Maine) took the loss for Becker. Neither starter got a decision, as VanGyzen allowed one run and four hits in seven innings and struck out 10, while Carbonneau surrendered one run and eight hits in seven-and-two-thirds innings, fanning two.
PSU is home again Saturday with a Little East Conference doubleheader against UMass Dartmouth (12:00 p.m.) Becker plays a North Atlantic Conference twinbill Saturday at Elms College (12:00 p.m.)
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