ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Finishing with a conference record of 15-3, Mitchell College has secured the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the NECC Baseball Tournament. The Mariners have won three of the past four NECC Championships, and are looking to take back the crown after a one-year hiatus. Mitchell is led by a 2017 All-American and the 2017 NECC Player of the Year, senior Kyle Hartenstein, who is batting .406 overall, and .446 in conference play, both tops in the league. Classmate Garet Griffin is the league's RBI leader, with 46 overall. On the mound, Mitchell features three pitchers in the top five in ERA, sophomore Jakari Pellegrini (1.54), senior Bryton Ferris (2.74) and senior Eddie Santiago (2.89).
With the No. 1 seed, Mitchell has earned the right to host the double-elimination tournament, which will begin on Friday, May 4. In their first match-up, the Mariners will face the fourth seeded Becker College, who finished with a 7-11 record in conference play. The Hawks will look to Chris Testa to make an impact at the plate, as the senior outfielder heads into the postseason with a .385 batting average, good for fourth in the league. Testa is also a threat on the bases, with a league-leading 22 stolen bases.
Friday's second match-up will feature the No. 2 seed Lesley University, as they battle the third seeded Elms College. Lesley, the 2017 defending champions, finished with a conference record of 14-4, behind the stellar play of junior Ryan Pumphret, whose .402 batting average and 36 RBI are second in the league, while his seven home runs leads the league. On the other side of the ball, senior pitcher Tom Muratore has been a force for the Lynx, leading the league in wins (nine) and strikeouts (67), while having the second best ERA (1.94).
No. 3 Elms finished conference play with an 8-10 record. Junior pitcher Tom Owens has been a workhorse for the Blazers, throwing 55.2 innings and boasting an ERA of 2.26, good for third in the conference.
The tournament will continue on Saturday as the losers of Friday's two games will face-off in an elimination game at 9:30 am. Two teams will be eliminated in play on Saturday, with the Championship game slated for Sunday.
2018 NECC Baseball Tournament
Friday, May 4- hosted by No. 1 Mitchell
Game 1: #4 Becker vs. #1 Mitchell - 11:00 a.m.
Game 2: #3 Elms vs. #2 Lesley – 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 5- hosted by No. 1 Mitchell
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – 9:30 a.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 12:30 p.m.
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 6- hosted by No. 1 Mitchell
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5- 11:30 a.m.
Game 7: If Necessary- 2:30 p.m.