HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Mitchell College baseball team came away with a split against Elms College on Saturday afternoon as the two sides dueled through a pair of 10-inning contests at Mackenzie Stadium.
In the opener, Peter Abate snapped a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to propel the Mariners to a 4-1 victory. The nightcap had a similar story but a different ending, as Elms erased a four-run deficit and won 5-4 on a walk-off hit in the 10th.
The Mariners (25-8 overall, 13-3 NECC) and Blazers (12-23 overall, 8-9 NECC) will wrap up the weekend series at Mitchell on Sunday, April 29 at 12:30.
Game 1 – Mitchell 4, Elms 1 (10 Innings)
The Mariners got on the board with an unearned run in the second inning when Abate reached on an error, allowing James Rangel to score with the game's first run. Elms starter Thomas Owens got out of the inning when Abate was thrown out trying to steal second.
Elms tied the game in the bottom of the frame as Kevin Banas led off with a homer to left field. It would be the last run before Abate's blast in the 10th.
Drew Daley got the start and went 5.2 innings for Mitchell, allowing one earned run and picking up two strikeouts. Brian Ricker (2-1 overall) pitched the final two innings for Mitchell and got the win while allowing just one hit. He entered the game in a tight spot in the ninth and escaped a bases-loaded, no-out situation by getting a double play and a pop out to keep the Mariners alive.
Owens pitched a gem for the Blazers, piling up 10 strikeouts and allowing only one run in 8.0 innings. Cody Fisher (2-4 overall) pitched the ninth and 10th innings for Elms and was tagged with the loss.
Game 2 – Elms 5, Mitchell 4 (10 Innings)
Mitchell jumped on top early, scoring three runs in a first inning that included an RBI double by Kyle Hartenstein and a two-run homer by Garet Griffin. Eric Marriott added an RBI single in the seventh to give the Mariners a 4-0 lead that they carried into the seventh inning.
However, the tides turned in a hurry. Thomas Slane and Banas led off the inning with a single and a double, respectively, to put runners on second and third with no outs. Nate Ayala and Josh Pasini followed with back-to-back RBI sac flies to make it 4-2 in favor of the Mariners with two outs and nobody on base. Andy Vasquez kept the Blazers alive with a single to right field, and back-to-back walks to pinch-hitters Josh Berthiaume and Patrick Hughes loaded the bases with two outs. That brought up Ben Ross, who belted a two-run single to center field to tie the game.
Matt Plasse came on to pitch in the eighth inning and was lights out. He allowed just one hit in 3.0 innings of work while striking out four to keep the Blazers afloat into the 10th inning. Alex Hoss led off the 10th with a single and advanced to second when Thomas Slane executed a bunt. Mitchell elected to intentionally walk Banas, a decision that proved to be costly. Ayala came to the plate and delivered his third walk-off hit in 11 days, a shot to the gap in left-center that scored Hoss from second. Ayala was 3-for-4 in the game with two RBI.
Plasse (2-4 overall) picked up the win for Elms while Ricker (2-2 overall) got the loss after facing the final seven Blazers batters.