May 10, 2012



Gorham, MaineFreshman right fielder Dean Grasso (Cranston, RI) had a single, triple and home run, scored three times and knocked in three runs as third-seeded Rhode Island College downed sixth-seeded Plymouth State, 10-5, in game five of the 2012 Little East Conference Tournament played at the University of Southern Maine Baseball Stadium on Thursday afternoon.


The Anchormen (26-16) advance to face top-seed and tourney host Southern Maine (24-16) in game eight on Friday (3:30 p.m.). It is an elimination game for both clubs.


Senior shortstop Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, MA), catcher J.P. Stone (Narragansett, RI), left fielder Brent Hopkins (Cranston, RI) and junior third baseman Cody Ortega (Kissimmee, FL) each had two hits.  Ortega also knocked in two runs.


Sophomore left-hander C.J. Tsoumakas (Hope, RI) went the first six innings, allowing only one hit and two walks to pick up his fourth win (4-5) of the season.  Tsoumakas struck out five.


For the Panthers, senior Luke Merrill (Pittsburg, NH) had a double, single and two RBI.  Merrill had the lone hit off Tsoumakas, a double, in the second inning.  Senior Jonathan Bishop (Woburn, MA) started on the mound and took the loss (3-5).  Bishop went five innings, giving up nine hits and two walks while fanning two. 


RIC jumped out to a 2-0 lead, thanks to a sacrifice fly from senior first baseman Dan Hopkins (Cranston, RI) in the first and a leadoff homer by Grasso in the second.


After an error allowed a Panther run to score in the bottom of the second, RIC tacked on three runs in both the fourth and fifth frames to give Tsoumakas some breathing room.


Ortega singled in a pair and later crossed home on an error in the fourth, while a Grasso triple and a sacrifice fly from sophomore designated hitter Alex Verrecchia (Cranston, RI) accounted for the runs an inning later.


The Panthers (18-21) touched up the RIC bullpen for four runs in the eighth, but senior reliever Eric Blanchard (Warwick, RI) hurled a scoreless ninth to preserve the win.