NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Mitchell College baseball team secured a first-place finish in the New England Collegiate Conference regular season standings with a pair of wins over Eastern Nazarene College on Thursday, winning by final scores of 4-0 and 4-1 at the UMass Dartmouth Baseball Field.
The Mariners, who improved to 29-6 overall and 13-1 in the league, also stretched their winning streak to 15 games. The streak is the longest in the school's Division III history, surpassing the mark of 13 set by the 2015 squad.
Starting pitchers Ryan Solimine and Roland Thivierge once again turned in impressive performances, limiting the Lions (18-16 overall, 7-7 NECC) to just six hits in the doubleheader. Solimine improved to 8-1 while Thivierge moved to 8-0.
Mitchell will next host Elms College on Sunday, April 28 at noon.
Game 1 - Mitchell 4, Eastern Nazarene 0
Mitchell took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Peter Abate laced a two-out single up the middle to plate Dougie DelaCruz and Markus Melendez. The Mariners later tacked on a pair of runs in the sixth to widen the gap to 4-0. Eric Marriott flared a single down the left-field line to drive in pinch runner Jeremy Santos from second base. Melendez followed with a double down the right-field line to knock in Marriott.
Solimine was dominant from start to finish, using only 80 pitches to cement his third shutout of the season. He retired six straight batters until giving up a bunt single to start the third. ENC's only other hit came with two outs in the fifth, and Solimine retired the final seven batters he faced to close out the game. He finished with six strikeouts and issued just one walk while facing only three batters over the minimum.
Brent Houle hurled 6.1 innings and fanned six batters for the Lions, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits.
Game 2 - Mitchell 4, Eastern Nazarene 1
Mitchell trailed 1-0 before rallying late, scoring a pair of runs in the sixth to grab the lead and two more in the seventh for added insurance.
The Lions seized the early lead with a run in the bottom of the second. Matthew Urena lashed a two-out single to knock in Josue Basilis.
The Mariners vaulted ahead with two runs in the sixth. DelaCruz roped a double to the left-field corner to drive in Melendez and later scored when Steven Pagan reached on an error. Mitchell widened the gap to 4-1 in the seventh when Steve Cochrane raked a two-out single to plate Melendez and Marriott.
Thivierge made quick work of the ENC lineup in most innings. The only runner he allowed into scoring position all day reached base via a wild pitch on a strikeout, which should have ended the inning but ultimately led to the Lions' only run. He finished with four strikeouts over 6.0 innings before handing the ball off to Bryce Bedard for the seventh inning. Bedard retired the side on 12 pitches to secure his second save of the season.
Briley Seiter tossed 6.0 innings and registered a pair of strikeouts for ENC.