Sunday's Northeast Conference baseball series finale between Central Connecticut and Mount St. Mary's needed 12 innings before the Mountaineers won, 9-8, at CCSU Baseball Field. The Blue Devils had four players collect two hits and senior Nick Garland drove in four runs thanks to a second-inning grand slam. Juniors Patrick Mitchell and Jared Gallagher combined to throw seven innings of relief for Central and surrendered just one run.
The win gave the Mount three wins in the four-game series and dropped CCSU to 15-26 overall and 9-16 in NEC play. Mount St. Mary's improved to 20-25 overall and 14-11 in the league.
Garland went 2-for-7 on the day and drove in four runs on his fourth homerun of the year. Sophomores Buddy Dewaine and Chris Kanios, along with freshman Peyton Stephens each added two hits. Kanios also added two runs batted in.
Central will return to action on Friday to begin a three-game conference series at Fairleigh Dickinson.
The teams went back-and-forth over the first three innings, with each side totalling five runs in the opening three frames. Alex Kriss hit a solo homerun in the top of the first before the Blue Devils responded in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore Chandler Debrosse singled with one out and moved to second on a two-out walk. Stephens followed with a single through the right side to score Debrosse and tie the game, 1-1.
The Mountaineers came back with three runs in the second. Matthew Kephart hit a one-run double and Jared Urban followed with a two-run double to make it 4-1.
The Blue Devils would load the bases with two outs in the second to set the table for Garland. He took a pitch over the fence in left field to clear the bases and make it 5-4.
Back-to-back doubles in the third would score a run for the Mount to tie the game before Central would retake the lead. In the fifth, senior Andrew Hinckley, who had four walks on the day, drew a base on balls with two outs. He moved to second on a wild pitch before Kanios doubled down the line in left to plate Hinckley and make it 6-5.
Mount St. Mary's came back in the sixth, taking advantage of two Central errors to score three runs and go ahead, 8-6.
Central responded with two runs in the seventh to even the score. Freshman Jake Siracusa was hit by a pitch to lead off and moved to second after Hinckley walked. A sacrifice moved the runners before Kanios singled in Siracusa to make it 8-7. Another walk would load the bases for Stephens who hit a sacrifice fly to score Hinckley and tie the game, but Mount caught a CCSU runner off the base to end the inning without further damage.
Mitchell, who game in with one out in the sixth for CCSU, would get out of bases-loaded jams in both the sixth and the eighth innings. In 6.1 innings of work he allowed just one run on six hits, while striking out six.
Mount's Michael Kuypers worked out of a jam of his own in the eighth inning when the Blue Devils loaded the bases with one out. He would get a strikeout and a fly out to end the threat.
The Mountaineers would open the 12th with back-to-back singles before a sacrifice put the runners on second and third. An intenional walk loaded the bases for Pat Daly who hit an infield single to drive in the winning run to make it 9-8.
Central travels to Fairleigh Dickinson for a three-game NEC series beginning Friday.