SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Elms College sophomore first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) was 2 for 4 with a triple and a home run in game one and used a five-run third inning in game two to complete a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) sweep of Lesley University with scores of 7-5 and 14-9 on Monday afternoon.
With the sweep, Elms improves to 4-8 overall, 2-0 in NECC action while Lesley falls to 1-8 on the season, 0-2 in NECC play.
In game one, after an RBI groundout by Pagano gave the Blazers a brief lead, Lesley's Peter Plansky (Litchfield, N.H.) put the Lynx on top 3-1 with a two-run single to center that scored Aqib Shah (Watertown, Mass.) and Tyler Plourd (Canton, Conn).
Elms responded with one run in the fourth and took the lead for good with three in the fifth. Senior shortstop Nico Iavicoli (Hampden, Mass.) was doubled home by freshman designated hitter Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.), and Pagano put the Blazers ahead, 5-3 with a two-run triple down the line in right.
Lesley got one back on a two-base throwing error in the bottom of the fifth, as Andrew Colon (Watertown, Mass.) scored from first on the play. The Blazers tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh, as Lynx reliever Nick Dolan (Strafford, N.H.) came on with one on and one out and was welcomed with a two-run homer from Pagano to right-center to make it 7-4. Lesley scored one in the seventh to cap the scoring at 7-5 giving Elms its first conference win of the 2012 campaign.
Elms' sophomore reliever Derek Leal (Charlton, Mass.) threw 2.2 innings of one-run relief to earn the win, striking out two and walking none. Lesley's Ryan Genua (Prospect, Conn.) suffered the loss, fanning four and allowing six runs over 6.1 innings.
Pagano provided the power on his decisive blasts with a triple and homer, going 2 for 4 with five driven in. Junior center fielder Steve Fisher (West Boylston, Mass.) and sophomore right fielder Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) each scored twice in the win.
Shah went 2 for-4 with a double and a run, and Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI's for the Lynx.
In game two, the Blazers jumped out to an early lead thanks to some timely hitting, with a Forrest double plating Pagano and King to put the visitors ahead 2-0 in the first. Lesley tied the contest in the bottom half, loading the bases with no outs on two hits and a walk. Cleanup hitter John Gosnell (Toronto, Ontario) drove in the Lynx first run on a walk, and Plansky tied the game on a double-play grounder to third.
Andrew Cootware (Colchester, Vt.) gave the Lynx the lead with a two-run blast, launching the first home run in Lesley history over the left field fence to make it a 4-2 game after one. Elms cut the lead in half on a hit-and-run that scored junior third baseman Zach Dreher (Naugatuck, Conn.) from second on a Fisher single to the hole in left, but Lesley went up 5-3 in the bottom of the second on a bases loaded fielder's choice off the bat of Shah.
The Blazers put together a five-run third frame on two RBI singles and two sacrifice flies, chasing Lesley starter Greg Anglin (Milton, Mass.) from the game after three innings.
Leading 8-5, Elms' junior starter Ryan Burnette (Chicopee, Mass.) struck out the side in order for a shutdown third.
With two outs in the fifth, Pagano's second single of the game drove in one and senior left fielder Donny Morse's (Alfred, Maine) two-run double opened up a 12-6 Blazers lead.
Lesley answered in the bottom half of the inning as Plansky led off with a triple to right and was sent home on an infield single from Cootware, who was then knocked home along with Ryan McQuade (Rochester, N.H.) on a Joe Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) double to right. With one out in the inning, Leal entered to face Plourd in a bases loaded, one-out jam and froze the batter issuing a looking strikeout and fanned cleanup hitter Gosnell to escape further damage.
Elms loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, scoring two on a fielder's choice and an RBI double to complete the sweep with a 14-9 win in game two.
Burnette earned the win, going 3.1 innings striking out four and allowing three earned. Leal came on for the save, throwing 2.2 innings of relief allowing just one hit and striking out four.
For Lesley, Anglin suffered the loss, allowing five earned over three innings.
Elms returns to non-conference action on Tuesday, March 20 with a 3:30 game at Westfield State University.