PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Freshman Rew Wilson (Niantic, Conn.) hit a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday afternoon to lead Plymouth State University to a 16-6 victory over Western Connecticut State University in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at Panther Park, wrapping up the season for both schools.
The Colonials took the opener, 8-0, as junior lefthander Billy Armstrong (Moodus, Conn.) scattered five hits and five walks over eight shutout innings while striking out 13 batters. The Panthers came back to take the nightcap in a game shortened to seven innings by the 10-run rule. WestConn completes the season with a 16-21 overall record and 5-9 mark in the LEC, while PSU winds up 10-29 overall and 2-12 in conference play.
The visitors led the first game 3-0 after seven innings but sealed the victory with a five-run eighth inning. Armstrong (4-3) held the Panthers off the board for eight innings, and senior Jeff Gordon (Milford, Conn.) pitched a perfect ninth inning to complete the shutout. Senior Sam McNeil (Gales Ferry, Conn.) and sophomore Anthony Ruffo (Norwich, Conn.) had three hits apiece with McNeil driving in three and Ruffo scoring three and knocking in two.
After WestConn plated three runs in the top of the first inning of the nightcap, PSU came back and put up nine runs in the last half of the inning. It was 10-4 after five innings and the Panthers put the game away to finish the season on a winning note with two runs in the sixth inning and four in the seventh.
Wilson finished the second game for PSU with three hits, three runs scored and five RBI. Junior Grant Livingston (Niantic, Conn.) and sophomore Joe Eramo (Shirley, Mass.) also collected three hits apiece, including a double and an RBI. Junior Bryant Lausberg (Somersworth, N.H.) scored four runs after reaching base on three walks and a triple.
Sophomore Jonathan Bishop (Woburn, Mass.) recorded his first victory of the season for PSU, allowing only seven hits and one earned run in the complete-game effort while striking out three.
Sophomore Mike Yates (Guilford, Conn.) paced the WestConn hitters in the nightcap, slugging a three-run homer in the first inning. McNeil and sophomore Kyle Savo (West Haven, Conn.) each had two hits.
PSU also celebrated Senior Day, honoring its only senior Steve Picco (Marshfield, Mass.). Picco responded by going 1-for-3 with a walk and a double in the opener and knocking in two runs in the nightcap with a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly. He also made a superb catch in left field to rob a WestConn hitter of a home run.
GAME NOTE: The WestConn victory in game one was Head Coach John Susi's 300th collegiate win. He won 142 games at Manchester Community College and now has 158 wins at the Colonials' helm.