NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team took the rubber match of its weekend series with Elms College on Sunday afternoon, winning 13-3 in front of a home crowd in New England Collegiate Conference action at Alumni Field.
With the victory, the Mariners (26-8 overall, 14-3 NECC) claimed at least a share of the conference's regular season title for the sixth straight season. The top seed in the league standings will earn the right to host the NECC Championship on May 4-6.
Mitchell pounded out 19 hits on the day, led by a 4-for-5 effort by Eric Marriott that included three RBI and two runs scored. Kyle Hartenstein, Jack Finnegan and Markus Melendez added three hits apiece.
Eddie Santiago pitched 6.0 strong innings and gave up one run on three hits while fanning seven. He improved to 5-2 on the season with the win.
The Mariners put up four runs in the first inning and never looked back. Finnegan and Jeremy Santos each supplied two-run singles in the frame to jump-start the offense. In the second, a sacrifice fly by Garet Griffin and an RBI single by James Rangel extended the lead to 6-0.
Elms scratched across a run in the fourth when Nathan Ayala plated a run with bases-loaded ground ball up the middle. The Blazers could have had more, but Santiago got a strikeout and fly ball to end the threat.
Sam Sabilia and Marriott each provided RBI singles in the fifth to make the Mitchell lead 8-1. Marriott plated another run in the seventh, hustling down the first-base line on a chopper to the first baseman while Santos scored from second.
The Blazers picked up another run in the eighth on a single up the middle by Josh Pasini, who finished with three of his team's six hits on the day. However, the Mariners responded with four runs in the home half to go up 13-2. Melendez had a two-run single in the rally while Finnegan and Marriott each contributed RBI singles.
Elms starter Brandon Bennett yielded six runs on eight hits through 1.2 innings and struck out one.
Prior to the game, the Mariners honored their nine seniors in a special ceremony. In four seasons the group has won 115 games, the most of any senior class at Mitchell. All nine players saw action in the game, with pitchers JJ Ruehl and Luke Nerney each logging an inning in relief. Starting pitcher Bryton Ferris made an appearance as a pinch hitter, and Sabilia got his first career start at designated hitter.
Mitchell will wrap up the regular season with a game at Becker College on a date yet to be determined. Elms ends the regular season with an overall record of 12-24 (8-10 NECC) and has qualified for one of four spots in the NECC Championship.