NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College was able to erase deficits in each game of Saturday's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) baseball doubleheader at Alumni Field as the Mariners topped Southern Vermont College 11-4 and then 10-8 for the pair of home wins.
The two sides will finish out the league series on Sunday with first pitch slated for 12 p.m. at Bill Epstein Field on the SVC campus; Southern Vermont (7-26, 5-10 NECC) will also celebrate Senior Day on Sunday—recognizing each of its four graduating members prior to the start of game three.
GAME 1: Mitchell 11 – Southern Vermont 4
SVC started the day on a strong note—scoring four times in the top of the first to grab the early lead. Mitchell would keep the Mountaineers off the board the rest of the way, however, while pulling ahead. The Mariners responded with two runs in the home half of the first, and they added another pair in the third. MC scored three times in each the fourth and sixth frames to stake a comfortable advantage for the victory.
Southern Vermont sophomore catcher Dan Mason (Bloomingdale, N.J.) went 2-4 with a run scored while freshman third baseman Noah DuBois (Barrington, N.H.) and junior shortstop John Arancio (Oradell, N.J.) were both 1-4 with an RBI. Junior second baseman Niko D'Agnese (Mahopac, N.Y.) turned in a 2-4 showing at the dish, and sophomore center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) was 1-2 with a walk and a run scored.
Mountaineer freshman lefty Tyler Graham (Amsterdam, N.Y.) suffered the loss (1-6) after striking out three in three innings with the start.
After Stacey was plunked to start the game, he would move around to third with just one out. Senior designated hitter Anthony Mercuri (Ridge, N.Y.) came through with the RBI-connection to third—a play that saw MC make a fielding error which allowed a second run to cross the plate.
Mason followed with a gap shot to the left side of the outfield to put a pair of runners in scoring position, and DuBois and Arancio then registered back-to-back singles to the outfield for the early 4-0 advantage.
Three-straight base hits started the bottom of the first for Mitchell and led to the Mariners getting two runs back. The hosts were able to get SVC to strand Stacey at third in the next frame, and the Mountaineers then left two aboard in the third. MC chalked up another pair in the home half of the third to tie it at 4-4.
A failed pickoff attempt with two down put Southern Vermont runners at second and third in the fourth, but Mitchell got out of the jam to preserve the even tally. The Mariners then grabbed the upper hand with three runs in the bottom of the box with the help of a lead-off double.
MC kept the scoring going with a solo run in the fifth before notching another three in the sixth. SVC would strand a pair on the pond in the top of the seventh as Mitchell finished off its first win of the day.
GAME 2: Mitchell 10 – Southern Vermont 8
MC went up 4-0 in the bottom of the first in game two—only to see the Mountaineers answer in a big way by tacking up six in the next box. The Mariners would tie it at 6-6 with two scores in the fourth, but Southern Vermont responded with a pair of its own in the top of the fifth to regain the edge.
It would be short-lived, however, with Mitchell getting two in the home half of the inning before pulling in front with another pair in the sixth. The hosts kept SVC from scoring in its final two trips to the plate to take the sweep and season series.
Mountaineer freshman right fielder Connor Pingitore (Amsterdam, N.Y.) went 3-3 with a stolen base, a pair of runs batted in and a third run scored while Stacey was 2-4 with a pair of RBI's. Mason recorded a 1-3 performance at the plate with a walk, two runs scored, and a stolen base.
SVC sophomore right-hander Joseph Braim (Schuylerville, N.Y.) went four innings with the ball but took the no-decision from the hill. Freshman Nick Gambardella (Hollywood, Fla.) came on for two innings in relief and surrendered the go-ahead run to get strapped with the loss (0-4).
The Mariners tacked up four runs on three hits and two walks in the bottom of the first, but Southern Vermont would quickly erase its deficit to go on top. Three-straight walks started the inning for SVC, and Pingitore then singled to right for Mason to come home.
D'Agnese followed with a base hit through the right side for an RBI, and a pitching change preceded a hit by pitch scoring the third Mountaineer run. A passed ball made way for Pingitore to scamper home from third, and Stacey then roped a two-run double to left-center to make it a 6-4 edge for the Mountaineers.
That score held until the bottom of the fourth when MC used a solo homer to get two runs in and tie it up. Pingitore sent a two-out single into left in the top of the fifth for the Mountaineers to regain the edge, and a wild pitch then scored Arancio for the visitors to grab an 8-6 lead.
The Mariners tagged another pair of solo home runs in the bottom of the fifth to even the score once again. Stacey would get stranded at second in the top of the sixth before MC's fourth homer of the game—a two-run shot to right—gave the hosts their first lead since losing it in the second. Mitchell then got SVC to go down in order in the seventh to close out the sweep.
– #LetsGoSVC –