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No. 21 Western New England Runs into Tough Pitching, Drops Two Games to Plymouth State

No. 21 Western New England Runs into Tough Pitching, Drops Two Games to Plymouth State
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (March 26, 2016) - The No. 21 nationally ranked Western New England University baseball team fell victim to a pair of strong pitching performances this afternoon, dropping a non-conference doubleheader to Plymouth State University at Trelease Park.
 
Western New England senior righthander David Cherry (Southbury, Conn.) struck out a career-high 12 batters in the opener, but the Panthers rallied late to earn a 2-1 victory. Plymouth State then utilized another late rally to claim a 4-2 win in game two.
 
Plymouth State 2, Western New England 1
Cherry went the distance and allowed just three hits, but the Panthers got to him for two runs in the top of the sixth and the Western New England offense was shut down over the final two innings.
 
Graduate student Cody Gilchrist (Tyngsboro, Mass.) also turned in an impressive performance on the mound for Plymouth State, limiting the Golden Bears to just one run on five hits through seven innings.
 
Western New England opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth, when freshman Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) came through with a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield after seniors Eduardo Colmenares (Caracas, Venezuela) and Doug Milne (Nesconset, N.Y.) led off the frame with consecutive singles and freshman Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt.
 
Cherry breezed through the first five innings, striking out ten batters and giving up just one hit, but the Panthers broke through for two runs in the sixth. Sophomore Cam Ruziak (Sterling, Mass.) got the rally started with a leadoff bunt single, and classmate Nate Frederick (Worcester, Mass.) added a single to left field two batters later. After senior Dave Hall (Groton, Conn.) reached on a catcher interference to load the bases, junior Jarek Krajewski (Cranston, R.I.) drew a walk to plate the game-tying run, and classmate James Riley-Garnett (Newport, R.I.) gave Plymouth State a 2-1 lead with a sacrifice fly to center field.
 
Gilchrist did the rest of the work for the Panthers, holding Western New England to just one hit over the last two innings to secure the win for the visitors.
 
Plymouth State 4, Western New England 2
LaCroix led the Golden Bear offense in game two, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a double, while junior Daniel Morin (Salem, N.H.) drove in both of Western New England's runs with his fourth inning double.
 
Senior lefthander Tom Mahoney (Granville, Mass.) got the start on the mound and went the distance, dropping to 2-1 with the loss despite giving up just two earned runs on six hits.
 
Krajewski staked the visitors to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with an RBI groundout, but the Golden Bears were able to pull ahead an inning later when Morin doubled down the left field line, plating LaCroix and Milne.  
 
Western New England's lead was short lived, as Plymouth State pulled back in front in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Frederick, followed by an RBI double by Hall. The Panthers added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, when Hall drove in Ruziak with a sacrifice fly.
 
Freshman David Sampson (Bellingham, Mass.) earned the win for Plymouth State after giving up two runs on five hits over four innings of work. Sophomore Taylor Doyle (Peterborough, N.H.) picked up the save after limiting the Golden Bears to just one hit over the final three frames.
 
Western New England (9-3) will look to bounce back Tuesday afternoon against Suffolk, while Plymouth State (8-9) returns to action on Thursday at Daniel Webster.