NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College and Elms College split a baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, each picking up one-run victories in New England Collegiate Conference play at Alumni Field.
Elms held on for a 6-5 win in the first game of the doubleheader. Kyle Platner provided the go-ahead run in the seventh inning with a solo homer, and Tim Gelzinis protected the lead in the bottom of the frame to nail down his third save of the season.
The Mariners scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with a 5-4 win in the nightcap. Peter Abate knocked in the winning run with a bases-loaded single to right as Mitchell salvaged the final game of the three-game series.
Mitchell (18-9 overall, 7-3 NECC) will next host Wesleyan University on Tuesday, April 18 at 4 p.m. Elms (8-14 overall, 4-4 NECC) returns to action at home against Springfield College on Monday, April 17 at 6 p.m.
Game 1 – Elms 6, Mitchell 5
The Blazers went ahead 2-0 in the second inning on RBI doubles by Alex Hoss and Ben Ross. Elms doubled the lead in the third when Stephen Harrison led off with a walk and Jordan Zima followed with a two-run homer.
Mitchell got three runs back in the home half of the third. Kyle Hartenstein plated two runs with a double to right-center and later scored on an infield single by Markus Melendez.
Elms put up a run in the sixth on an RBI double to left-center by Aedin Wadja to go up 5-3. Mitchell answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame as Abate led off with a triple and scored on a double by Brody Adams. A two-out single by Tristan Hurley later scored Adams with the tying run.
Platner led off the seventh with a home run—his first of the year—to put the Blazers ahead for good. The Mariners put the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, but Gelzinis got a fly ball to center to end the game.
Elms starter Thomas Owens went 5.0 innings and struck out six while Platner picked up the win in relief. Mitchell starter Eddie Santiago gave up five runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings and struck out one.
Game 2 – Mitchell 5, Elms 4
Mitchell took a 2-0 lead in the third inning and would have had more if not for a stellar defensive play by Wadja. With the bases loaded and one out, Francis Prettitore hit a deep fly ball to left that looked like it would result in four runs. However, Wadja raced back and dove over the fence to make the grab, and the Mariners were awarded only two bases due to the ball being carried out of play.
Elms pulled ahead in the sixth inning when Ross cleared the bases with a one-out, three-run double to left. The Blazers then tacked on another run in the seventh to go up 4-2 on an RBI double by Brian Hungerford that scored Gelzinis.
Steven Gonzalez got things started in the Mitchell seventh with a double to left. Hurley followed with an infield single, and Prettitore tied the game with a one-out, two-run double to center. A walk and an infield single then loaded the bases for Abate, who delivered the walk-off single to right for his third hit of the day.
Brian Ricker picked up the win in relief for the Mariners, improving to 3-1 on the season. Jacob Graveline suffered the loss, giving up five runs on 14 hits over 6.1 innings while striking out five.