NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team wrapped up its weekend series with Southern Vermont College by splitting a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference action at Alumni Field.
Southern Vermont took the first game of the day by a 3-2 final as starting pitcher Nick Hartman turned in a complete game. The Mountaineers trailed 2-1 before tying the game with a run in the fifth, and then pulled ahead with another in the sixth. The loss snapped Mitchell's nine-game winning streak.
In the second game, Mitchell battled back to post an 8-2 victory. The Mariners finished with only five hits but benefitted from 11 walks in the contest. Starter Jakari Pellegrini picked up the win in 4.0 innings of work while Brian Ricker picked up his first save of the season.
Mitchell (10-2 overall, 2-1 NECC) will next play a doubleheader at Albertus Magnus College on Wednesday, March 28 at 4 p.m. Southern Vermont (2-9 overall, 1-2 NECC) returns to action at Wells College on Tuesday, March 27 at 3 p.m.
Game 1 – Southern Vermont 3, Mitchell 2
Mitchell, which batted as the visiting team, jumped on top with a run in the first inning. Kyle Hartenstein singled to center and later scored on a fielding error to give the Mariners the early 1-0 advantage.
The Mountaineers answered back with a run in the second to tie the game. John Arancio led off with a ground-rule double to right-center. One out later, Dan Mason singled up the middle to bring Arancio around with the tying run.
Mitchell pulled back in front with another run in the third. James Rangel reached on a fielder's choice and then stole second base to move into scoring position. Jeremy Santos followed with a single down the right-field line to plate the run.
Southern Vermont loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and had Zack Stacey at the plate. He hit a ground ball to the shortstop in the hole to score the tying run, as his speed down the first-base line prevented the Mariners from even attempting the inning-ending double play. Reliever Roland Thivierge then entered the game for Mitchell to get the final out of the frame and keep the score at 2-2.
Mitchell loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth but couldn't push across a run. Southern Vermont took advantage of a pair of errors in the home half to score the go-ahead run, and Hartman made the margin stand in the seventh. The Mariners put the tying run on third base with two outs, but Hartman struck out the final batter pick up his first win of the season. He allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits and struck out three over 7.0 innings of work.
Mitchell starter Eddie Santiago tossed 4.2 innings and struck out four. He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits. Thivierge took the loss, allowing one unearned run on one hit in 1.1 innings.
Game 2 – Mitchell 8, Southern Vermont 2
The Mariners scored twice in the first inning as SVC pitching struggled to find the strike zone. Mitchell drew five walks in the frame and scored both runs without the benefit of a hit.
A throwing error led to another Mitchell run in the second, and a ground out by Markus Melendez made the lead 4-0 in the third. The Mountaineers got a run back in the bottom of the inning as Niko D'Agnese plated a run with a ground ball to first with the bases loaded.
In the fourth, Hartenstein tripled home a run and then scored on a balk to make it a 6-1 game. The triple was the 190th of his career, tying the school's all-time hits record.
Mitchell's final two runs came in the fifth inning, the first on a passed ball and the second on an RBI single to left by Santos. SVC's final run came in the sixth on an RBI single down the third-base line by Rob Spatafore that scored Stacey.
Pellegrini improved to 2-0 on the season, lasting 4.0 innings while allowing one run on four hits and striking out five. Ricker closed out the final 3.0 innings and surrendered one run on three hits.
Mason, who got the starting nod for the Mountaineers, gave up six runs (five earned) over 4.0 innings. He struck out one while walking seven. D'Agnese finished up the final 3.0 frames and allowed two runs on two hits and fanned four.