NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team opened New England Collegiate Conference play with a pair of wins over Newbury College on Sunday afternoon, posting finals of 16-1 and 12-1 at Alumni Field.
Eric Marriott paced the Mitchell offense with a 7-for-8 day that included a double, two RBI, six runs scored and three stolen bases. Starting pitchers Jakari Pellegrini and Roland Thivierge took care of business on the mound, each yielding just one run while striking out nine.
The series completed a nine-game home stand for the Mariners in which they went 9-0 and outscored opponents by a 142-10 margin. Mitchell gave up one run or fewer in seven of the nine games and sported a team ERA of just 1.11 during the stretch.
Mitchell (13-5 overall, 2-0 NECC) will next play at UMass Boston on Wednesday, April 3 at 7:15 p.m. Newbury (2-12 overall, 1-3 NECC) returns to action at Rivier University on Tuesday, April 2.
Game 1 – Mitchell 16, Newbury 1
A three-run first inning—highlighted by a solo homer by Anthony Diaz —would be all the run support Pellegrini would need. After pitching around a leadoff double in the first and a one-out double in the second, he quickly settled into a groove and retired 12 straight Newbury hitters at one point.
The Mariners added a run in the third on an RBI double to right by Peter Abate. Markus Melendez knocked in two more with a double in the fourth, and an RBI single by Sam Majewski in the fifth helped Mitchell increase the lead to 9-0.
After the Nighthawks got on the scoreboard in the sixth thanks to an RBI single by David Center, the Mariners responded with seven runs in the home half to bust the game open. Seven different players picked up an RBI in the frame as Mitchell sent 12 batters to the plate in the rally.
Pellegrini went 6.0 innings and surrendered just four hits to improve to 3-0. Newbury starter Brian Cipolla, who also had two hits in the contest, allowed seven runs (four earned) over 4.0 innings of work.
Game 2 – Mitchell 12, Newbury 1
Mitchell grabbed the lead early once again, scoring five runs on four hits in the second inning. Dougie DelaCruz capped the scoring with a two-run double down the third-base line that plated Marriott and Melendez.
Abate scored the first of two Mitchell runs in the third inning, stealing third base and then continuing home via a wild pitch. Justin Johnson later followed with an RBI single up the middle to make it 7-0.
The Nighthawks made some noise in the fourth as Cipolla led off with a single and Dante Serino followed with a double to left. Newbury then scored a run on a ground out by Center, but Thivierge got a pair of strikeouts to escape the inning without further damage.
The Mariners got the run back in the bottom of the frame as Marriott singled and later scored on a triple to right-center by DelaCruz. Steven Pagan also plated a run in the frame to extend Mitchell's lead to 9-1.
Marriott singled through the right side of the infield in the fifth to knock in his first run of the game. Melendez quickly followed with a double to right that brought home the final two runs in the 12-1 victory.
Thivierge went the distance for the first time in his career and improved to 5-0 on the season. His nine strikeouts also tied his career high. Nick Dorazio took the loss for the Nighthawks, yielding five runs on five hits over 2.0 innings.