NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team opened New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play on Sunday with a doubleheader split against Newbury College, winning 7-4 in the first game before falling 12-1 in the second.
In the opener, freshman pitcher Justin Lemanski picked up his first collegiate win after the Mariners (2-8 overall, 1-1 NECC) rallied with a four-run fifth inning to give him the lead. Senior Ethan Graynor went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored in the game to pace the offense.
Newbury's bats picked up in the second game, exploding for 12 runs on 15 hits. The middle of the Nighthawks order combined for 8 hits, seven runs and eight RBI in the contest while starting pitcher Travis Wade gave up only one run on three hits in 5.1 innings of work.
The final game of the three-game series between Mitchell and Newbury (8-5 overall, 1-1 NECC) will be played on Monday, March 19 at Boston English High School. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Game 1 – Mitchell 7, Newbury 4
Newbury scored a pair of runs in the third inning to take the initial lead. An RBI single by freshman Drew Doyle in the bottom half of the frame cut the Mitchell deficit in half, but the Nighthawks added two more runs in the fifth to lead 4-1. Michael Dean doubled to left-center field to drive in the first run while Patrick Curry plated the second with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Mariners answered with four runs in the home half of the fifth to take the lead. Starter Christopher Ninteau retired the first two batters of the frame before allowing four straight hits, though the Newbury defense didn't help the cause with three errors. Doyle drove in the tying run with a triple to center field and later scored the go-ahead run after an outfielder dropped a fly ball.
Mitchell added two insurance runs in the sixth to go up 7-4. Graynor delivered an RBI single to center and junior Tyler Shultis came home with the final run on a balk.
Newbury brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh but couldn't score a run off reliever Mike Sturges, who closed out the final inning to earn his first career save. Lemanski (1-1 overall) pitched 6.0 innings and gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits while striking out two.
Ninteau worked 5.1 innings and allowed seven runs (four earned) on nine hits while striking out three and walking one. Alex Chetelat and Steven Broy each finished with two hits for the Nighthawks.
Game 2 – Newbury 12, Mitchell 1
All nine starters recorded a hit as Newbury rebounded to take the second game of the series. Broy finished 3-for-5 with a game-high four RBI while Chetelat went 2-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Michael Dwyer also had three hits and scored four times.
Broy put the Nighthawks on the scoreboard in the second inning with a double to right-center that brought home two runs. Newbury then broke the game open with a six-run third inning, highlighted by a bases-loaded triple from Chetelat that scored the first three runs. Cameron D'Agostino capped the rally with a two-run single to center field that put the Nighthawks ahead 8-1.
Newbury added two runs in the fourth and another pair in the seventh, but Wade (2-1 overall) wouldn't need the extra cushion. The one run he gave up in the third inning was unearned, and he struck out two while walking four. Daniel Lumb pitched 1.2 hitless innings of relief and struck out three to secure the victory.