Thursday, March 14, 2019

Four-Run Eighth Propels Vassar Past Plymouth State

Recap, photo courtesy of Vassar College
FORT MYERS, FL — The Vassar College baseball team (3-2) scored four runs in the eighth to overcome a 10-9 deficit and notch a 13-10 victory over Plymouth State (3-3) at Terry Park in the Brewers' final game of the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic on Tuesday morning.

Vassar scored twice in the top of the first, but Plymouth State put up a seven-spot in the bottom half of the inning.  The Brewers immediately countered with three runs in the top of the second, though, to pull within 7-5.  Eric Trausch (San Diego, CA) ripped a two-run single with the bases loaded and two out before Taylor Smach (Manlius, NY) followed with an RBI single.  Bryan Rubin (Bryn Mawr, PA) then made it 7-6 with a homer to right center in the third.

Plymouth State added another run in the fourth, but Connor Levchuck (Greenlawn, NY) tied the game with a two-run double in the fifth.  After the Panthers regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth, Vassar pulled within 10-9 when Matt Martino (Hauppauge, NY) scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.

Martino and Trausch each singled to start the eighth.  Smach was up next, and he roped a double down the left field line to knock in both runs and give Vassar the lead.  The Brewers picked up a pair of insurance tallies on a two-out error.

Patrick Fitzgerald (Phoenix, MD) then slammed the door on Plymouth State, getting a double play with the tying run at the plate in the eighth, and another after a leadoff single in the ninth to earn the save.  Alex Hartnett (1-0) (Miami, FL) was credited with the win after striking out two while not allowing a hit in two scoreless innings.

"Today was a huge win four our team going into a two-day break here in Florida," Head Coach Matthew Righter said.  "Our hitters responded extremely well after yesterday's performance and our bullpen kept us in the game until the very end.  The keys to today's game were definitely mental toughness and clutch hitting.  Those are two things we talked about quite a bit after the Baruch game, and I thought our guys delivered."

Smach finished 4-for-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored.  Matt McGannon (Redding, CT) was 3-for-6 with two runs scored, and Martino also scored twice.  Rubin also scored twice, while Trausch and Levchuck both collected two RBIs.

For Plymouth State, Jimmy Zimolka went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.  Three different Panthers scored twice, while Ryan Boldwin and James Salta both drove in a pair of runs.  Alex Larson (0-1) took the loss on the mound.

After beginning their Florida trip with five games in four days, the Brewers are off until Friday, when they take on North Central (3-0) at 5:30 p.m.  It will be Vassar's first contest at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte.

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