Middlebury scored seven of its 15 runs in the fifth inning, on its way to a 15-6 win over Plymouth State (9-11) in the team's home opener on Forbes Field. The Panthers (13-6) return to action on Tuesday when they host Northern Vermont-Lyndon at 4:00 p.m., while Plymouth State visits Castleton on the same day.
Middlebury opened the scoring in the second inning when Sam Graf singled and Alan Guild walked, before Graf crossed the plate on a double steal. One batter later, Phil Bernstein doubled to left to plate Guild for the 2-0 lead.
The home team struck with four runs in the third inning to go up, 6-0. Brooks Carroll led off with a double to left and later scored on a throwing error after stealing third. Guild drove in a run with a single to right, while Alec Ritch belted a two-run shot to left for his first career home run.
The visitors got on the board in the top of the fourth when Ryan Boldwin hit a solo shot to left.
Middelbury blew the game open in the fifth with seven runs on five hits for a 13-1 lead. Andrew Hennings doubled off the third-base bag to start things off, with Guild driving him home with a base hit. Bernstein later drove in a pair with a double to left center, as did Carroll with a single to left. Pinch hitter Kevin Woodring brought in the final run of the inning when he reached safely on a single to center.
The home team added solo runs in the sixth and seventh, before Plymouth State cut into the lead with five runs in the eighth inning. Josh Goulet and Andrew Salta each had two-run singles in the frame.
Michael Farinelli (2-1) picked up the win, allowing one run on three hits over six innings with eight strikeouts. Spencer Shores tossed a scoreless seventh, while John Tipps struck out two of the four batters he faced.
Bernstein finished the day with three doubles (3-4) and three RBI, while Carroll was 2-4 with a double, two runs scored and two driven in. Guild went 2-2 with four runs scored, two walks and a pair of runs driven in, while Woodring came off the bench to go 2-2 with a double and an RBI.
Trevor Delesdernier (0-2) suffered the loss, giving up seven runs on six hits over 4.1 innings of work. Boldwin went 3-4 on the afternoon with a homer, two runs scored and two RBI to pace Plymouth State.
With seven stolen bases today, Middlebury has now stolen 69 in 19 games, 10 shy of last year's school record.