NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team earned a pair of walk-off wins against Southern Vermont College on Saturday afternoon, rallying for two runs in the bottom of the seventh in a 7-6 victory in the opening game and posting a 6-5 win in extra innings in the nightcap.
Mitchell (9-18 overall, 8-9 NECC) scored the winning run in the first game on a wild pitch and got a sacrifice fly from senior Tommy Derosier to end the second game. Junior Tyler Shultis picked up both wins in relief for the Mariners to even his record at 2-2 on the season.
Mitchell and Southern Vermont (9-30 overall, 5-12 NECC) will wrap up their three-game series with a single nine-inning game on Sunday, April 29 at noon. The contest will be the regular season finale for each squad.
Game 1 – Mitchell 7, Southern Vermont 6
Southern Vermont's Jarod Hayen led off the game with a triple, but Mitchell starter Justin Lemanski pitched around the mistake and kept the Mountaineers off the scoreboard. The Mariners then put up three runs in the home half of the frame, plating runs on a ground out by freshman Mike Sturges and a single by senior Ethan Graynor.
The two sides traded single runs in the second inning, with the Mountaineers scoring their first run of the day on a double by Chris Nicastro that scored Sal Sciara. Mitchell answered with an RBI single from freshman Rafael Garcia to increase the lead to 4-1.
Southern Vermont scored two more runs in the third, the first coming on an error and the second on a ground out by Cody LaBadia. The Mountaineers then tied the game in the fourth behind a double steal that saw Max Ginter score from third base.
Mitchell manufactured a run in the fourth to go back in front. Derosier used his speed to leg out an infield single before stealing both second and third base to move into scoring position. Freshman Gavin LaLima followed with a base hit through the left side to put the Mariners back on top 5-4.
Southern Vermont tied the game again in the fifth when Pat Warrington (Folcroft, Pa./Monsignor Bonner) led off with a home run to right-center field, his third of the season. The Mountaineers then took their first lead in the sixth when Hayen led off with a double and later scored on a Mitchell error.
Trailing 6-5 heading into their final at bat, the Mariners got off to a good start when Garica drew a walk to lead off the seventh. Freshman Evan Peck tried to move him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but a fielding error left both runners on with nobody out. Junior Will Charkowsky then tied the game with a single through the left side, with Peck moving from first to third on the play. Peck then scored the winning run on a wild pitch to give the Mariners their first walk-off win of the day.
SVC pitcher Dave Northup made his first start of the season and threw 6.0 innings, allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits while walking four and striking out five. He dropped to 1-4 overall.
Shultis worked 1.0 inning of relief and gave up one hit while striking out one. Lemanski lasted 5.2 innings and gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits and struck out three in the no decision.
Game 2 – Mitchell 6, Southern Vermont 5 (10 innings)
Mitchell got off to another good start in the finale. Derosier led off the third inning with a double to fuel a three-run rally, and LaLima followed with a single to center to score the run. LaLima later scored on a single to right by Garcia, and the Mariners notched their final run of the frame on a wild pitch.
Southern Vermont scratched across a run in the fourth when an infield single by Sciara scored Warrington from third base. Mitchell answered with a run in the fifth, as Peck tripled to left-center field and scored on a single by Charkowsky.
The Mountaineers trimmed the deficit to 4-3 in the sixth. Both runs scored as the result of a Mitchell fielding error, though Sturges escaped further damage by getting a ground out to end the inning.
Southern Vermont came back with two runs in the seventh to take the lead in dramatic fashion. With two outs and down 0-2 in the count, Dillon Desiderato delivered a two-run single to put the Mountaineers ahead for the first time in the game at 5-4.
For the second time on the day, Mitchell rallied to tie the game in the seventh. LaLima and Garcia each reached base to start off the inning, though the former was thrown out trying to steal third. Garcia moved up to second on the play and then advanced to third on a ground out. A two-out single to right field by Charkowsky plated the tying run and brought new life for the Mariners.
Neither side recorded a hit in the eighth inning, but the Mountaineers threatened in the ninth when Nicastro led off with a single and ended up on second following a failed pickoff attempt. The Mariners then turned the ball over to Shultis, who responded by retiring the next three batters and leaving the potential go-ahead run stranded at third.
Mitchell squandered its own chance in the ninth and left a runner on third base, but the Mariners finally broke through in the 10th. Lemanski reached base on an infield single and stole second to move into scoring position. He then moved to third on a fielding error and scored the winning run on the sacrifice fly to right by Derosier.
Shultis pitched 2.0 innings of scoreless relief to earn his second win of the day. Sophomore Travis Gembecki also tossed 1.0 inning of solid relief while Sturges went 7.0 innings in a starting role. He gave up five runs (three earned) on nine hits and struck out one while walking three.
Dustyn Marfyak took the loss for the Mountaineers, falling to 0-4 on the season. He pitched 3.2 innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out one and walking three. Starting pitcher Greg Gilmore lasted 5.0 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out two.