NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team took an early lead against Daniel Webster College on Friday afternoon but couldn't hold on, losing 8-3 in the opener of three-game weekend series in New England Collegiate Conference action.
The Eagles (11-10 overall, 6-4 NECC) rallied behind a strong outing from starting pitcher Kory Kiro, who settled down after a rough start and pitched eight strong innings. He improved to 3-1 on the season and allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out seven.
Mitchell (5-11 overall, 4-3 NECC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run single to left field by junior Will Charkowsky. The Mariners added another run in the third on an RBI single to left by freshman Evan Peck.
Daniel Webster got on the scoreboard with a run in the fourth inning on a double by Tyler Bonin and pulled even in the fifth. With two outs in the frame, the Eagles strung together four consecutive hits and plated runs on singles by Kyle Brigham and Korey LeLievre. Bonin then laced a shot to first base that could have done more damage, but a diving grab by Peck ended the threat.
Kiro got into trouble in the next two innings but worked his way out each time. He allowed a lead-off double in the fifth but never let the runner off second base. In the sixth, the Mariners put runners on corners with one only out, but Kiro again wriggled out of trouble to keep the score knotted at 3-3.
The Mariners nearly took the lead in the seventh when freshman Rafael Garcia singled to right with two outs and took second base on a fielding error. Senior Ethan Graynor followed with another base hit to right, but LeLievre came up firing and gunned the runner out at the plate.
Daniel Webster took the lead in the eighth and knocked Mitchell starter Justin Lemanski from the game in the process. The Eagles loaded the bases with no outs before Erick Bourdeau delivered a two-run single to right-center. After the Mariners went to the bullpen in favor of sophomore Travis Gemecki, Daniel Webster pushed across another run on a sacrifice fly to center by Rich Lizotte that scored Ryan Dupont.
The Eagles tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back RBI singles by LeLievre and Bonin but wouldn't need the extra cushion. Lizotte closed out the win by retiring the side in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Lemanski (2-2 overall) threw 7.0 innings and allowed six runs (four earned) on 11 hits and struck out one.
Mitchell and Daniel Webster will wrap up their weekend series on Saturday, April 7 with a doubleheader in Nashua, N.H. First pitch is slated for noon.