NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College baseball team never trailed in a 5-2 victory over Nichols College on Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action at Alumni Field.
The Mariners won their ninth straight game—and 19th of their last 20—to improve to 23-6 on the season. Head coach Travis Beausoleil also reached a milestone with his 200th career victory.
Kyle Bouchard went 2-for-3 with two RBI to pace Nichols. The Bison dropped to 17-13 overall.
With two outs in the first inning, back-to-back RBI singles by Pagan and Peter Abate staked the Mariners an early 2-0 advantage.
Mitchell starter Jeff Nicolosi cruised through the Nichols lineup the first time around but hit trouble in the fourth. He gave up four consecutive singles as the Bison cut the lead to 2-1 and loaded the bases with no outs. Reliever Brian Ricker came in to put out the fire, and he retired three straight batters to get the Mariners out of the inning with the one-run lead intact.
A leadoff double by Tyler Heenan put the tying run on base for the Bison in the fifth. After a single by Joe Assenza put runners on the corners with one out, Bouchard supplied a deep fly ball to right to tie the game at 2-2.
A Nichols error proved costly in the fifth, extending the inning and allowing Mitchell to plate a pair of runs. The Mariners edged back in front on a two-out single by Markus Melendez that scored Justin Johnson from second base. Melendez then crossed the plate on a short fly ball to center by Steve Cochrane that dropped in to make it a 4-2 game.
DelaCruz led off the Mitchell eighth with a solo homer to left, his team-leading fifth of the season. The bullpen didn't need the extra run support as Justin Lukas recorded five straight outs to pick up his first collegiate save.
Ricker, who allowed one run on two hits in 2.0 innings of work, earned his first win of the season. Sam Majewski also turned in 2.1 scoreless innings on the mound to get the Mariners into the eighth.
Nichols starter Andrew Charbonneau took the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits over 4.2 innings.