NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College swept a baseball doubleheader from Southern Vermont College on Sunday afternoon, winning by final scores of 13-6 and 19-5 in New England Collegiate Conference play at Alumni Field.
Markus Melendez went 5-for-8 with a pair of doubles and three RBI in the twin bill to pace the Mariners, who improved to 17-6 overall (5-1 NECC) and remained unbeaten at home. Dougie DelaCruz went 4-for-8 with a double, homer and team-high six RBI to aid the cause.
A pair of Mitchell newcomers picked up wins on the mound. Ryan Solimine went the distance in the opener to improve to 4-1 on the season while Justin Lukas tossed 3.2 innings of relief to earn his second win in five days.
Kyle Liddy homered in each game and finished with four hits and four RBI to lead the Southern Vermont lineup.
Mitchell will next host Castleton University on Wednesday, April 10 at 1 p.m. Southern Vermont (6-12-1 overall, 1-5 NECC) returns to action at home against Norwich University on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
Game 1 – Mitchell 13, Southern Vermont 6
Mitchell put up three runs in the second inning to stake Solimine to an early lead. An RBI double by Zack Stacey put the Mountaineers on the scoreboard in the third, but Solimine limited the damage to escape the frame with the 3-1 lead intact.
The Mariners scored five runs in the fourth to chase SVC starter Joe Braim from the game. Melendez got the ball rolling with an RBI double down the right-field line, and Steve Cochrane followed with a two-run double to right-center. Steven Pagan and Peter Abate later tacked on RBI singles as the lead expanded to 8-1.
A three-run homer by DelaCruz highlighted a five-run Mitchell fifth inning. The long ball was the fourth of the season for the rookie right fielder. Sam Majewski also supplied a two-run double in the frame.
The Mountaineers hit up Solimine for five runs in the seventh, two of which came on the home run by Liddy. Zac Cronk also had an RBI single in the frame.
Despite the rough finish, Solimine struck out a season-high 12 batters while notching his second complete game of the season. He allowed six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and didn't walk a batter.
Braim (2-3 overall) allowed eight runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings of work. He issued six walks and struck out one.
Game 2 – Mitchell 19, Southern Vermont 5
It was the Mountaineers who grabbed the early lead in the nightcap, scoring a pair of runs in the first thanks to a two-run homer by Liddy. His second long ball of the day raised his team-leading total to five on the year.
Mitchell responded with two runs of its own in the home half of the first. DelaCruz and Pagan each plated runs with base hits to knot the game at 2-2.
Both teams loaded the bases in the third inning. The Mountaineers had three on with no outs but managed only one run as the Mariners got out of the jam behind a groundball double play and a diving catch in right by Cochrane. Mitchell then packed the bags with one out and produced four runs—on a hit by pitch, error, sacrifice fly and wild pitch—to go up 6-3.
The Mariners continued to pile up the runs over the next three innings and outscored the Mountaineers 13-2 during the stretch. DelaCruz contributed an RBI double and single in the spurt while Michael Santiago and Justin Johnson both added a pair of RBI singles.
Reliever Bryce Bedard closed out the final 2.0 innings for the Mariners and fanned five of the seven batters he faced.
SVC's Ryan Richardson surrendered nine runs (five earned) over 3.1 innings and struck out two in the loss.