NORWICH, Conn. – The Lesley University baseball team scored three times in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough as Mitchell College grabbed a 6-4 win to earn the season sweep over the Lynx. With the win, the Mariners improve to 19-11 on the year and finish 12-6 in the New England Collegiate Conference and will host the NECC Championship as they wrap up conference play as the top-seed. The Lynx finish their regular season at 10-15 overall and an even 9-9 in conference play, and will be either the third of fourth seed in the NECC Championship.
Mariners starter Al Jordan Johnson (Lancaster, Calif.) struck out nine while holding the Lynx to just two hits and one run (unearned) in five innings to earn his second win of the season.
Sophomore Neftali Arroyo (New Haven, Conn.) and senior Will Charkowski (Cold Spring, N.Y.) each finished with two hits for the Mariners to pace the offense. Arroyo added two runs scored while Charkowski picked up an RBI.
Lesley senior Jeff Landry (Vestal, N.Y.) went seven innings for the Lynx, allowing five runs (two earned), seven hits, while striking out two in the loss.
Mitchell wasted little time to get on the board as they pushed across two runs in the top of the first inning. Junior Gavin LaLima (Waterford, Conn.) led off the game with a single to centerfield before stealing second and advancing to third on a passed ball. LaLima scored the first run of the game when he slid in safely to home on a sacrifice-fly by senior Kenneth Olszewski (Waterbury, Conn.).The Mariners posted their second run of the inning when sophomore Nova Crespo (New London, Conn.) singled through the right side to plate junior Evan Peck (Shelton, Conn.) to push the lead to 2-0.
The Lynx cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second inning. Lesley loaded the bases with no outs and freshman Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) scored the first Lynx run when he scampered home on a pass ball, but it would be the only run the hosts would score in the inning as Johnson retired the side with three strikeouts to limit the damage.
Mitchell padded their lead to 5-1 with a pair of runs in the top half of the sixth inning. Charkowski sent a double to right-centerfield with two on and one out to pick up his first RBI of the game before Blaze Iannetti (Middlesex, N.J.) grounded out to bring in the second run of the inning.
The Mariners added another insurance run in the eighth as they took advantage of a Lesley miscue in the field to extend their lead to 6-1.
The Lynx would not go down quietly, though, and mounted a valiant comeback effort in the bottom of the ninth. Melo and fellow senior Paul Russo (New Haven, Conn.) started the rally with a single and a hit by pitch, respectively, before Parson walked to load the bases with one out. Sophomore Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.) drew the third straight free pass of the inning that brought home Melo and cut the Mariner edge to 6-2.
Senior Ryan Genua (Prospect, Conn.) laced a ball down the first base line was that was misplayed, allowing two more runs to cross, but Mitchell reliever Axel De Jesus (Stratford, Conn.) got out of the inning with an infield pop-up and a strikeout to preserve the 6-4 victory.
The Lynx will await the final seeding's for the NECC Championship, slated to kick off this coming Friday at Mitchell College, to find their first round opponent. The Mariners will finish their regular season tomorrow as they square off with New London, Conn. neighbor Coast Guard Academy at 12:30p at Dodd Stadium.
Prior to the game, the Lynx honored their four seniors, Landry, Russo, Melo, and Genua with a brief ceremony to commemorate their careers in a Lesley uniform. The four joined the Lynx in the first year of NCAA competition in 2010 and will play in their first NECC Championship this year.