NORWICH, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team overcame a four-run deficit and used a six-run seventh inning to post an 11-5 victory over Coast Guard Academy on Tuesday night at Dodd Stadium.
Garet Griffin went 3-for-5 with three RBI to lead the Mitchell offense. Eddie Santiago picked up the win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to improve to 3-0 on the season.
A walk and an error cost Mitchell in the opening frame as a ground out by CGA's Kyle Wood plated the game's first run. The Bears then added three more runs in the second inning as Cory Sonnega and Alex Murdoch each knocked in runs. The Mariners committed two more errors in the frame to compound the damage.
Mitchell got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. Francis Prettitore got things started with a double to deep center, and Chandler Whitney followed with a single to center. Prettitore was being held at third on the play until a CGA fielding miscue allowed him to scamper home.
Coast Guard chased Mitchell starter Bryton Ferris in the third. The Bears put up a run on an RBI double by Kyle Jackson and then had runners on the corners with two outs when the Mariners went to the bullpen. Clayton Shaw got out of the jam with one pitch to keep the deficit at 5-1.
The Mariners cut the margin in half in the fourth on a two-run triple by Griffin. Some exceptional defense kept the score at 5-3 in the fifth as Shaw pitched around a leadoff double. He helped his own cause by snagging a comebacker and retiring the lead runner going to third, and Jack Finnegan later ended the inning with a sliding catch in foul territory in right field.
Starting pitcher Joe Siciliano got Coast Guard through four innings before Walter Harris took the ball to start the fifth. Harris got into a tight spot as the Mariners loaded the bases with one out, but he got a double play to end the threat with the two-run lead intact.
Prettitore walked to lead off the Mitchell sixth and moved into scoring position on a single to right by Whitney. A single by Griffin plated one run, and a safety squeeze by Markus Melendez scored another to tie the game at 5-5.
The Mariners took their first lead of the day in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Prettitore. Mitchell later loaded the bases with two outs and pushed across five more runs to break open the game. Brandon Russo and Kyle Hartenstein each delivered RBI singles in the rally while a pair of CGA errors accounted for a pair of runs.
Mitchell's bullpen kept Coast Guard quiet the rest of the way to lock down the win. Nic Vlaun and Marcus Guadarrama didn't allow a hit in 1.2 combined innings of work.
Murdoch and Timbo Duncan each finished with a pair of hits to lead Coast Guard. Harris took the loss for the Bears, dropping to 3-3 on the season.
Mitchell (24-9 overall) will next host Lesley University on Friday, April 29 on the opening day of the NECC Championship. Coast Guard (16-20 overall) returns to action at Babson College on Thursday, April 28 at 3:30 p.m. in the first round of the NEWMAC Championship.
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