Mariners sink Baseball to close out regular season

Josiah Shepherd

LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Becker College baseball team lost 11-9 to visiting Mitchell College on Tuesday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference action at Rochdale Park in Leicester. The Mariners of Mitchell, the top-seeded team in the conference, improve to 27-8 and 15-3 in NECC play while the Hawks of Becker fall to 10-26 and 7-11 against conference opponents.

Becker's bats were hot from the get go, as freshman right fielder William Negron (Bronx, N.Y. / Salesian), last week's NECC Rookie of the Week, came to the plate with two men on and promptly cleared the bases with a double to right, giving the Hawks a 2-0 lead. On the very next at-bat, senior first baseman Kevin Perez (Jersey City, N.J. / Union City) singled to score Negron, increasing the lead to three. Freshman catcher Cameron Plank (Marlborough, Mass. / Marlborough) then doubled in Perez, as the home team went up 4-0 after one inning.

In the bottom of the second, the Hawks scored again when freshman second baseman Coby Hussey (Claremont, N.H. / Stevens) hit an RBI groundout to drive in fellow rookie Willis Pollard (Worthington, Mass. / Gateway Regional) from third. Junior designated hitter Tanyon Ventres (Holden, Mass. / Wachusett Regional) hit a sacrifice fly to bring home senior centerfielder Josiah Shepherd (Providence, R.I. / Classical). Becker took a commanding 6-0 lead.

The Mariners rallied in the top of the third, beginning with a two-run home run to right from Mitchell senior shortstop Garet Griffin (Moosup, Conn./Plainfield). Four batters later, junior designated hitter Peter Abate (Wallingford, Conn. / Sheehan) came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a sac fly, scoring senior first baseman James Rangel (North Bergen, N.J./North Bergen) from third. Two batters later with the bases again juiced, sophomore left fielder Jeremy Santos (New London, Conn./New London) drove in two more runs off an RBI single up the middle. The Hawks finally got out of the inning, now clinging to a 6-5 advantage.

In the bottom of the third, Negron scored off an RBI groundout from sophomore shortstop Ben Mazzone (Bristol, Conn. / St. Paul Catholic) to give Becker some breathing room at 7-5.

Mitchell got the run back in the top of the fourth when senior second baseman Kyle Hartenstein (Meriden, Conn. / Maloney) led off with a solo shot to right, pulling the Mariners to within one again at 7-6.

Then in the top of the fifth, the visitors finally tied the game off an RBI fielder's choice from junior centerfielder Eric Marriott (Niagara Falls, Canada/A.N. Myer) to score Abate, knotting it at 7-7.

The Mariners surged ahead in the top of the sixth inning when senior right fielder Jack Finnegan (Old Saybrook, Conn. / Xavier) came to the plate with runners at the corners and doubled to right-center to bring home Griffin for Mitchell's first lead of the game. The very next at bat Abate hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring home Rangel, putting the visitors ahead 9-7.

In the top of the eighth, Abate had an RBI single to drive home Finnegan, giving the Mariners a three-run lead.

The Hawks rallied in the bottom of the eighth, when sophomore designated hitter Michael Bianco (Manorville, N.Y. / Eastport-South Manor) came to the plate with two outs and crushed an RBI triple to center, scoring Shepherd from first. The very next at bat, a muffed catch at first allowed Bianco to score, pulling Becker to within one at 10-9.

Mitchell kept coming in the top of the ninth, when Griffin grounded out to the mound but Hartenstein, coming from third, scored when he beat the throw on a play at the plate. The Mariners took a two run lead into the bottom of the ninth.

Becker came out swinging but Mitchell freshman pitcher Roland Thivierge (Portland, Conn./Portland) was up to the challenge, retiring the side in order for his second career save for the Mariners.

Mitchell junior pitcher Bryce Bedard (Ledyard, Conn./Norwich Tech) earned the win for the visitors, striking out three in two and one third an inning and running his record to 5-0 for the season. Becker sophomore Eric Trahan (Bristol, Conn. / Bristol Eastern) took the loss.

Shepherd went two-for-three with two walks out of the leadoff spot.

Both teams await their official pairings in the upcoming NECC Championship Tournament.

Follow the Hawks all season long! Go to and follow us on Twitter: @BeckerAthletics , Instagram: @beckercollegeathletics and Facebook: @BeckerCollegeAthletics