HARWICH, Mass. – Sixth-seeded Mitchell College stayed alive in the Harwich Regional with a 9-3 victory over seventh-seeded Suffolk University on Friday afternoon in the 2018 NCAA Baseball Championship at Whitehouse Field.
The Mariners (31-9 overall) fell behind 3-0 early but rallied for nine unanswered runs to claim their third postseason win in program history. Mitchell advances and will play either top-seeded UMass Boston or fifth-seeded Ramapo College on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
Reliever Roland Thivierge was the story for the Mariners, tossing 7.1 shutout innings to earn the victory. He struck out four and scattered five hits to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Suffolk (25-19 overall) pushed across a run in the first on an RBI single by Greg Speliotis to grab the early lead. Mitchell starter Jakari Pellegrini then ran into trouble in the second, giving up a double that was sandwiched by a pair of walks to load the bases with no outs. He nearly worked his way out of the jam, but a two-out single by Trevor Lee plated two runs to buff the Suffolk lead to 3-0.
The Mariners responded with six runs in the home half of the second, all without the benefit of a hit. Suffolk starter Mark Fusco walked five batters in the frame, including two with the bases loaded to force in Mitchell's first runs. A ground out by Jeremy Santos tied the game at 3-3, and a Suffolk error yielded two runs and gave the Mariners their first lead of the day. Garet Griffin capped the rally with a sacrifice fly to right to extend the margin to 6-3.
An RBI single by Eric Marriott pushed the Mitchell lead to 7-3 in the sixth. In the eighth, Kyle Hartenstein added a pair of insurance runs with a two-out, two-run single up the middle to give the Mariners some breathing room for the final three outs.
Suffolk put two runners on base in the ninth but left them stranded. The Rams left a total of 11 batters on base in the contest.
Fusco (6-3 overall) allowed seven runs (six earned) on three hits but handed out six walks in the loss.