Plymouth, NH - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon baseball team closed the regular season with a wild 17-12 win at Plymouth State University on Monday afternoon. The two teams combined for 28 hits in a game that saw the Hornets build a 16 run lead before Plymouth rallied to make things interesting. With the win, the Hornets improve to 21-19 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 13-20.
The Hornets jumped in front in the top of the first inning. Zak Johnson (East Hampton, CT) started things off with a one out infield single off of Plymouth starter Trevor Delesdernier. Jason Doris (Lincoln, RI) followed with a base hit. After Caleb Laroche (Franklin, VT) popped out, Ryder Thornton (Essex, VT delivered a base hit to left, scoring Johnson with the first run of the game.
The Panthers answered quickly, as Josh Goulet took a pitch from Hornet starter Cameron Flinn (Barre, VT) over the left center fied wall to make it 1-1.
Lyndon kept swinging hot bats in the top of the second inning. Tyler Roberge (Essex, VT) led off with a single to right. After Delesdernier got Chris April (Rollinsford, NH) to pop out, back to back base hits from Edgar Koval (Essex, VT) and Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, ME) loaded the bases. Johnson's base hiot down the left field line scored Roberge, putting the Hornets back in front. Doris then beat out an infield hit, with Koval scoring, and Rollins came home on Laroche's foul pop out. Thornton capped the big inning, lining a two run double to right center to make it 6-1, Lyndon.
After a quiet third inning, doris and Laroche got on with back to back singles of of Panther reliever Alex Larson in the fourth. Thornton was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Doris scored on TJ Santaw's (Newport, VT) base hit. After Roberge popped out, April cleared the bases when he launched a double to left, increasing the Hornet lead to 10-1.
Lyndon tacked on seven more runs on only two hits in the top of the fifth. Rollins led things off with a walk. Johnson was then hit by a pitch and Laroche singled to load the bases. Thornton and Santaw drew back to back walks to force in two runs, then Roberge belted a two run double down the right field line. April walked to load the bases again, then Santaw scored when Koval grounded out back to the box. Roberge came home on a wild pitch, then two more walks to Rollins and Johnson loaded the bases yet again. When Doris was hit by a pitch, April scored the seventh run of the inning, giving the Hornets a seemingly insurmountable 17-1 lead.
Plymouth used the long ball to crawl back in the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jacob Unkles got on with a two out base hit, then Joe Routhier walked. Jimmy Zimolka then lofted a three run home run down the right field line. After Goulet singled, Ryan Boldwin launched another home run over the right centerfield wall to cut the Hornet lead to 17-6.
After Andrew Salta was hit by a pitch to start the Panther sixth, Cooper Whitehouse (south Berwick, ME) came on to relieve Flinn. Back to back singles from Gavin Cook and Unckles loaded the bases, then Salta scored on Routheier's sacrifice fly, making the score 17-7, Lyndon, through six complete.
Plymouth took advantage of two Hornet errors to draw closer with two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Boldwin walked and James Salta singled, Rollins took over on the mound for Whitehouse. Rollins struck out Andrew Salta, but an error kept the inning alive and allowed Boldwin to score. After Cook was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Unkles reached on another error, allowing James Salta to score. Rollins then got Routhier to fly out to end the threat, but Plymouth had cut the Hornet lead further, to 17-9.
After an uneventful eighth and top of the ninth, Plymouth attempted to stage a final rally. James Salta reached on an infield hit and Andrew Salta was hit by a pitch to start the home ninth. After Rollins struck out pinch hitter Patrick O'Regan, he hit the next batter, pinch hitter David Welch, to load the bases. Unckles drove in a run with a base hit to left, and another run came home when Routhier grounded out. Zimolka kept the Hornets alive when he reached on an error, allowing a third run to score in the inning. However, Rollins got Goulet to ground out to end the ball game.
Flinn went 5+ innings to pick up the win for the Hornets, while Delesdernier took the loss for the Panthers.
Lyndon will compete in the North Atlantic Conference Championship Tournament this weekend. The double elimination tournament will begin on Friday when top seed Husson University takes on #4 seed University of Maine at Farmington. The #2 seed Hornets face #3 seed Thomas College.in the day's second game. Game times and venue information will be announced later in the week.