Mitchell Drops Series Finale to Elms

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NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team dropped a 13-7 decision as Elms College completed a three-game sweep in New England Collegiate Conference action on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field.

Elms (11-15 overall, 7-4 NECC), which took the first two games of the series on Saturday by one run margins in each contest, broke out for 13 runs on 17 hits. Donny Morse went 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI to lead the charge while Brady Forrest drove in three runs.

Elms got off to a quick start, pounding out four hits for two runs in the first inning. Nico Iavicoli and Rey Rivera each delivered RBI singles in the frame to put the Blazers on the scoreboard.

The Mariners (5-16 overall, 4-8 NECC) struck back for two runs in the second inning to tie the game. Freshman Justin Lemanski started the two-out rally by reaching base on a hit by pitch and moved to third on a double by senior Joseph Patikowski. Freshman Drew Doyle brought both runners home with a ground rule double over the left field fence to knot the score at 2-2.

The Blazers manufactured a run in the third to pull back in front. Steve Fisher led off by reaching base on a hit by pitch and promptly stole second. He then moved over to third on a ground out and later scored on a wild pitch to put Elms on top 3-2.

Elms plated two more runs in the fourth, the first coming on a perfectly executed hit and run. With runners on first and second moving on the pitch, Felix Montalvo found the open hole in the left side of the infield and singled into left field. Later on in the frame, the Blazers had the bases loaded with only one out when Andrew Kravontka hit a ground ball to second base. Kravontka sprinted down the line in time to beat out the double play and pick up the RBI.

Mitchell answered back with two runs in the home half of the fourth. After the first two batters reached base, freshman Gavin LaLima came through with an RBI double to left-center to bring in the first run. Doyle came home with the next run on a ground out by freshman Evan Peck, but the Mariners left the tying run stranded on third base.

The Blazers sent nine batters to the plate in the fifth inning, and the first seven reached base safely while producing four runs. Iavicoli and Sean Shanley each had RBI singles in the frame while Morse added an RBI double. Mitchell escaped further damage by getting a pop up and double play to end the inning, but not before Elms had seized control with a 9-4 lead.

Senior Tommy Derosier drove in a run in the fifth as the Mariners closed the deficit to four, but it would be as close as they would get. Elms added another pair of runs in the seventh on a two-out triple by Fisher and a double by Alex King.

Elms hung up another two spot in the eighth on a two-run single down the right field line by Forrest. Mitchell countered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning, the final run of the game scoring on an RBI single by freshman Rafael Garcia.

Elms pitcher Andrew Bunger tossed 4.1 innings of relief to pick his first win of the season. He gave up two runs on seven hits and struck out four. Derek Leal got the start on the hill and struck out three in 4.2 innings while surrendering five runs (three earned) on eight hits.

Mitchell starter Mike Grofsick lasted 4.0 innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits and struck out two. The Mariners finished out the game with four relievers, with freshman Nick Carlson going 3.0 innings to bolster the staff.

Doyle went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI at the plate to lead the Mariners. LaLima finished with three hits and drove in one.

Mitchell will next play at Lesley University on Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m. Elms returns to action at Framingham State University on Wednesday, April 18 at 3:30 p.m.