New Hampshire Hardball

PSU falls in LEC tourney opener

MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore Luke Sokolski (Waterford, Conn.) had a single and double to extend his hitting streak to ten games but top-seeded and #1 nationally Eastern Connecticut State University topped sixth-seeded Plymouth State University, 6-0, in game one of the Little East Conference (LEC) baseball tournament at Eastern Baseball Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Sokolski got the streak out of the way early, opening the game with a single to center, but the Eastern Connecticut pitching staff, which ranks fourth in the country in team ERA, limited the Panthers’ scoring opportunities.

Junior Bobby Cliche (Stratham, N.H.) and senior Noah Wachter (Concord, N.H.) had their hands full dealing with a high-powered Eastern Connecticut lineup that entered averaging 10.5 runs per game. The duo was able to limit the Warriors’ bats to five singles and a double, but ECSU took advantage of eight walks and timely hits to put runs on the board.

Plymouth State moves to 14-25 and will face the loser of second-seeded Rhode Island College and fifth-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in an elimination game on Thursday (May 12) at noon.

Eastern Connecticut goes to 36-3 on the year.

The Basics:

  • Plymouth State 0, #1 Eastern Connecticut 6
    • Plymouth State (14-25)
    • Eastern Connecticut (36-3)

How it Happened:

  • Plymouth State got the leadoff runner on in each of the first three innings. Sokolski singled on the second pitch of the game and senior Bryan McGrath (Franklin, Mass.) doubled to open the second. Sokolski was erased on a double play, though, and McGrath was stranded at third the next inning.
  • The Warriors scored twice in the bottom of the second on a one-out single with runners on the corners and a dribbler back to the mound.
  • Senior Max Lamora (Concord, N.H.) singled to start the Panthers’ half of the third and moved to second on an error, but ECSU retired the next three batters.
  • The Warriors loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, but Cliche was able to limit the damage to just a single run as ECSU went ahead 3-0.
  • The hosts added a pair in the fifth and a run in the eighth to extend the lead to 6-0.
  • Sokolski doubled and junior Alex Rives (Gilford, N.H.) walked to open the ninth, but Eastern Connecticut turned a double play to erase the trail runner and, after McGrath worked a walk, a strikeout ended the game.

By the Numbers:

  • Sokolski went 2-for-4 with a double at the top of the order for his tenth multi-hit game of the year. He has at least one hit in each of the last ten games.
  • McGrath (double, walk) and Rives (single, walk) each reached base twice.
  • Lamora finished 1-for-3, while junior Nick Healey (Campton, N.H.) had PSU’s other hit with a 1-for-4 effort.
  • Cliche scattered five hits over his five full innings but was done in by six walks. He struck out three and surrendered five runs while throwing 95 pitches.
  • Wachter worked the final three innings on the mound, giving up just one run.

Up Next:

  • Plymouth State will square off against the loser of second-seeded Rhode Island College and fifth-seeded UMass Dartmouth in an elimination game tomorrow at noon.

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