GROTON, Conn. — Nick Mascelli singled in Taishi Terashima to break a 1-1 tie and give Mystic the lead for good in the seventh inning Wednesday night, and the Schooners went on to defeat the Sanford Mainers 3-1 in the opening game of the best-of-three New England Collegiate Baseball League championship series.

Sanford faces a must-win situtation as the series switches to Goodall Park at Sanford for the second game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. If Sanford wins, the deciding game would be played Friday night at Mystic.

A win by the Schooners would give them their first NECBL championship.

The Mainers are seeking their third league title and their first since 2008.

Mascelli opened the scoring for the Schooners, leading off the bottom of the first with a home run off Sanford starter Cole Whitney.

Tristan Chari lined a 0-1 pitch for a solo homer to pull the Mainers even to start the top of the third inning.

Brett Bond doubled to score Aaron Hill to give Mystic a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the eighth.

Mascelli went 2 for 3 with two RBI for the Schooners, and Bond finished 2 for 4.

Michael Landestoy led the offense for the Mainers, going 2 for 4.

Whitney, who did not figure in the decision for Sanford, surrendered only one run on two hits, striking out seven while walking four.