Middlebury Edged by Host Plymouth State, 8-7

Phil Bernstein went 3-4 for the Panthers.
Phil Bernstein went 3-4 for the Panthers.

The Middlebury baseball team dropped an 8-7 decision at Plymouth State on Wednesday, as the hosts scored three times in the bottom of the seventh before holding off the Panthers in the final two innings. Middlebury (9-16) is right back in action Thursday when it hosts Skidmore on Forbes Field at 4:00 p.m.

The host Panthers (17-16) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a double by Nate Frederick, scoring John Broom.

Plymouth State increased its lead to 5-0 with four runs in the second, but Middlebury began its comeback with a run in the fourth inning. Garrett Werner singled to right field and later scored on an error.

The guests had a big inning in the top of the seventh, scoring five times. Joe MacDonald pulled Middlebury to within 5-2 with a base hit to score Jake Turtel, while Sam Graf had a key two-run double to left center to pull the Panthers to within a run (5-4). Ryan Rizzo tied the game with a single to center field, while Johnny Read gave Middlebury its first lead of the game with a base hit to center that scored Rizzo.

Plymouth State regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh with three runs. Frederick scored on a throwing error to tie the game at 6-6, while Josh Goulet and Cam Ruziak both walked with the bases loaded for an 8-6 lead.

Middlebury made a push in the eighth, as John Luke doubled to center field to bring home Turtel to make it a one-run game (8-7), but Plymouth State pitcher Brady Larson got out of the inning with tying and go-ahead runs left on base.

Middlebury got two runners on base in the ninth as well, but Larson closed out the game for his second save of the season.

Phil Bernstein went 3-4 with two RBI for Middlebury, while Werner, Luke, Max Araya and Graf each had two hits. Graf also drove in three, while Turtel reached base twice and scored twice.

Colin Waters got the start for the visitors and yielded five runs on six hits in two innings, while Conor Himstead fired four scoreless innings of relief, allowing just two hits. Jake Stalcup (1-3) took the loss, giving up three runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Broom reached base in all four plate appearances for Plymouth State with two hits, two walks and scored a pair of runs, while Frederick had two hits and two RBI.

Cam Cossette went into the seventh inning on the mound for the hosts, giving up five runs on nine hits, while Ryan Perro (2-2) earned his second win of the spring recording one out.