NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Mitchell College baseball team opened New England Collegiate Conference play with a split at Newbury College on Saturday afternoon, dropping the opening game by a 7-0 final before bouncing back for a 1-0 win in the second.
Starting pitching was the story of the day as Newbury's Ethan Forrest tossed a two-hit shutout to keep the Mariners in check in the first game. Mitchell left-hander Eddie Santiago then turned in a gem in the second game, scattering five hits while keeping the Nighthawks off the scoreboard.
The final game of the series, originally scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed. A makeup date has yet to be announced.
Game One: Newbury 7, Mitchell 0
Forrest (4-0) struck out four en route to his second shutout of the season. David Center went 3-for-4 at the plate and swatted a two-run home run in the fifth. Billy Stephen batted 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI.
Kyle Hartenstein and Markus Melendez finished with the only hits for the Mariners.
It was a pitching duel for four innings before the Nighthawks broke it open in the bottom of the fifth. With one out in the fifth, Justin Banks reached base after being hit by a pitch. Stephen followed with a triple that scored Banks to break the scoreless tie. Center then made it a 3-0 game with a blast to deep left field for the first home run of his career.
The Nighthawks added more insurance in the sixth, starting the inning by loading the bases. Newbury tallied four in the frame thanks to a hit batter, an error, a fielder's choice, and a single.
The victory broke Newbury's six-game losing streak against the Mariners dating back to 2014.
Game Two: Mitchell 1, Newbury 0
A pitcher's duel between Santiago and Newbury's Jake Pringle stole the show in the second game of the doubleheader. Santiago struck out a career-high nine batters in 7.0 scoreless innings while Pringle allowed just one run on four hits while striking out three.
The game's lone run came in the third inning as Jack Finnegan got things started with a leadoff single. After a sacrifice bunt moved him into scoring position, Finnegan got caught up between second and third and tried to advance a base. He ended up being safe at third, however, as the attempt to cut him down hit him in the back, and Tristan Hurley followed with a double into the right field corner to score the run.
Newbury's best chance to tie came in the fourth inning following a one-out double by Center. The Nighthawks then had runners at the corners with two outs before Santiago struck out Jim McGrorry to escape the jam.
Santiago picked up his first win of the season. The outing, in addition to being the longest of his career, was also his first-ever complete game and shutout.