AMHERST, Mass. – A five-run eighth inning pushed the Mitchell College baseball team past Amherst College by an 11-5 final on Wednesday afternoon at Memorial Field.
Mitchell picked up its eighth straight win--including its second against a NESCAC opponent during the stretch--and improved to 16-6 overall. Steven Gonzalez went 4-for-5 with a double, three RBI and three runs scored to fuel the offense.
First on the scoreboard following a scoreless first inning, the Mariners claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With two outs and a runner on second, Gonzalez battled to a full count before dropping a single in front of the center fielder to plate Markus Melendez.
Tyler Pina nearly doubled Mitchell's lead in the third, driving a ball to deep center, but Yanni Thanopoulos came up with an impressive running catch at the wall to keep the Mammoth deficit at one. Jack Finnegan took one for the team with the bases loaded and two outs, sending Francis Prettitore home after being hit by a pitch to set the score at 2-0 in favor of the Mariners before George Long entered in relief and posted a strikeout to end the inning.
Amherst matched Mitchell's run in the bottom half of the inning, with Ryan Hardin setting up the scoring play by stealing both second and third base after reaching on a fielder's choice. Entering the batter's box with one out, Harry Roberson launched a sacrifice fly to deep right field to plate Hardin and bring the Mammoths back within one.
Regaining a two-run edge in the fourth, Prettitore sent a hard ground ball up the middle with two outs to score Gonzalez. Amherst responded with a run of its own in the bottom half behind a line drive down the right field line by Chase Henley that scored Thanopoulos from second base.
Max Steinhorn opened the fifth with a highlight reel play, gathering a ground ball near the second base bag and throwing across his body to record the out at first. Three batters later Gonzalez posted his third RBI on the day, doubling down the left field line and advancing to third on a dead ball to plate two runs and put the Mariners ahead 5-2.
Clawing back into the game in the bottom of the fifth, Roberson capitalized on singles by Severino Tocci and Steinhorn and drove a homer over the left field wall to even the contest at 5-5 heading down the stretch.
Neither side was able to gain the advantage in a scoreless sixth inning, with Kyle Hartenstein and Gonzalez logging clutch assists on outs at home to keep the matchup deadlocked.
The Mammoths earned their first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh. With runners on first and third and no outs, Anthony Spina ripped a sacrifice line drive to left to plate Roberson and give Amherst a 6-5 lead.
Roaring back in the eighth, Mitchell doubled its score, plating five runs to set the score at 10-6. Hartenstein, Pina and Finnegan registered the RBIs for the Mariners in the inning, while Pina sent home Mitchell's final run of the outing on a fielder's choice in the ninth as the Mariners clinched the 11-6 victory.
Eight Amherst pitchers saw time on the mound, with Davis Brown tossing 2.2 innings and allowing two earned runs in the start. Mike Castiglie (0-1) took the loss for the Mammoths, pitching 1.0 innings, while George Long, Chris Baldi, Zach Horwitz, Mike Dow, Wilson Taylor and David Brinkley also saw action.
Tasked with the start for Mitchell, Jakari Pellegrini allowed five earned runs and struck out five in 5.0 innings. Brian Stanczuk (2-0) tossed 2.0 innings in the winning effort, striking out two, while Brian Ricker closed out the final 2.0 innings to earn the save.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Both teams notched 12 hits in the game, while Mitchell stranded 11 and Amherst left seven runners on base.
- The Mammoths logged three extra base hits, including a home run by Roberson, while Gonzalez's double was Mitchell's sole extra base hit on the day.
- The Amherst staff combined to strike out five and walk nine, while the Mariners walked two hitters and struck out seven.