NEW LONDON, Conn. – Fourth-seeded Lesley University dropped the opening game of the New England Collegiate Conference Baseball Championship to host and top-seed Mitchell College 10-5 at Alumni Field. With the score knotted at 5-5 after five innings, the Mariners would add two runs in the sixth and three in the seventh to pull away late for the victory.
In the nightcap of the Tournament, third-seeded Southern Vermont College picked up a 5-3 victory over Elms College. SVC starter Dylan Angelo (Ft. Johnson, N.Y.) tossed a complete game to earn the win while Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) went 4-for-5 at the plate to lead the Mountaineers offense and Dan Mason (Bloomingdale, N.J.) added two hits and three RBI.
The NECC Championship resumes with three games on Saturday, April 30. Lesley (19-18 overall) and Elms (30-11 overall) will square off in an elimination game at 9:30 a.m. while Mitchell (25-9 overall) and Southern Vermont (19-18 overall) will meet at 12:30 p.m. for a spot in the title round. Saturday's final game is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start.
The Lynx took the season series over the Blazers 2-1, claiming victories in a pair of one-run games.
Game 1 – Mitchell 10, Lesley 5
Kyle Hartenstein (Meriden, Conn.) went 4-for-4 with two RBI to lead Mitchell to a 10-5 victory over fourth-seeded Lesley University in the day's first game. Domenick Giaramida (Middle Village, N.Y.) pitched 4.2 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win, striking out three while allowing only four hits.
Lesley got off to a good start by plating two runs in the opening inning. Singles by Gustavo Polidor (Caracas, Venezuela), J.P. Agiorgousis (Hanscom, Mass.) and Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) loaded the bases with no outs. A ground ball by Ryan Pumphret (Shrewsbury, Mass.) brought home both runs as Agiorgousis took advantage of a bad throw to score from second base. Mitchell starter Axel De Jesus (Stratford, Conn.) avoided further trouble by getting a strikeout and double play to escape the mess.
Mitchell tied the game with a pair of runs in the home half of the first. Tristan Hurley (Mystic, Conn.) and Hartenstein singled to start the rally. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, the first run came home on a ground out by Tyler Pina (Plainville, Conn.), and a Lesley error later allowed the tying run to score.
The Mariners pulled ahead 4-2 in the second inning. Hartenstein delivered an RBI single to plate the go-ahead run while Pina doubled to the fence in left to score the second.
A ground-rule double by Pumphret put two runners in scoring position for the Lynx in the third. Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) and Dan O'Donnell (Clark, N.J.) each knocked in runs with infield grounders to tie the game at 4-4.
Lesley starter Koby Mitchell (Fall River, Mass.) forced an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the third to keep the game tied. The Lynx then pulled back ahead in the fourth, scoring on a first-and-third situation in which the trail runner got caught in a rundown while the lead runner scampered home.
The Mariners employed a similar strategy to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on the corners and two outs, Pina drew a throw down to second on a steal attempt. Hartenstein broke for home on the throw and beat the relay to the plate to make it a 5-5 game.
The Lynx tried to turn a double play to end the sixth inning, but a throwing error ended up costing them a run as Mitchell pulled in front 6-5. Chandler Whitney (Beaverton, Ore.) followed with an RBI single to pad the margin to two, one of three hits in the contest for the Mitchell left fielder.
The Mariners added three insurance runs in the seventh to go up 10-5. Hartenstein and Jack Finnegan (Old Saybrook, Conn.) each provided RBI singles in the frame while the final run scored on a throwing error.
Giaramida pitched around two singles in the eighth to keep Lesley off the scoreboard. He then retired the side in order in the ninth to secure the win, improving to 4-2 on the season.
Agiorgousis, Pumphret and Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.) each finished with a pair of hits to pace the Lesley offense. Nick DeGrenier (Marshfield, Mass.) suffered the loss on the hill, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits in 3.0 innings of relief.
Release courtesy Mitchell College Sports Information