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WESTFIELD, Mass. – Elms College senior left fielder Donny Morse (Alfred, Maine) was 2 for 4 at the plate and sophomore right fielder Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) drove in two runs but Westfield State University used a four-run seventh inning to help pace the Owls to a 7-3 victory over the Blazers in Tuesday afternoon's non-conference baseball game at Alumni Field in Westfield, Mass.
With the loss, Elms falls to 4-9 on the season, while Westfield State improves to 5-6 overall and remains undefeated against the Blazers since 2003.
Elms took the lead in the top of the second when sophomore third baseman Zach Dreher (Naugatuck, Conn.) laced a one-out single up the middle to score freshman designated hitter Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.) who reached on a fielder's choice earlier in the inning. The Blazers struck again when King ripped a bases-load single to center scoring Dreher and senior second baseman Andrew Kravontka (Manchester, Conn.) to give Elms a 3-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth frame, Westfield State scored two runs on a pair of Elms errors as Josh Blair (Westfield, Mass.) and Matt Kelly (Weymouth, Mass.) crossed the dish to pull the Owls to within one at 3-2.
In the top of the fifth, Elms loaded the bases when sophomore first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) connected for a single and then galloped to third on a two-bagger by Morse. A walk to senior catcher Rey Rivera (San Juan, Puerto Rico) with one out in the stanza loaded the bases but a double-play groundout got Westfield State starter Aaron Messier (New Bedford, Mass.) out of the inning unscathed.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning the Owls' Nick Champeau (Southbridge, Mass.) singled and then came full circle on a botched relay attempt following a double to left center by Blair to knot the game at 3-3. Kelly then reached on the second Blazers' miscue of the inning and Blair scored on a double down the left field line by Jeremy Tanguay (Huntington, Mass.) to give Westfield State its first lead of the game at 4-3. With two runners in scoring position, a pinch-hit single by Dan Rokitowski (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) drove in both runs to extend the Owls' edge to 6-3.
Elms' freshman starter Geoffrey Frost (Ludlow, Mass.) got out of the inning when Rivera delivered a bullet to senior second baseman Andrew Kravontka (Manchester, Conn.) to catch Rokitowski attempting to steal second.
Westfield State added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to extend its lead to 7-3 and Curt Everett (Lexington, Mass.) came on to pitch the final frame to complete the win for the Owls.
Tanguay finished 4 for 4 at the plate for Westfield State, while Blair was 3 for 4 to help drive the Owls to victory. Messier earned the win and improves to 2-1 overall.
Frost suffered the loss for the Blazers and falls to 0-2 on the season, while King drove in two runs and Morse collected two hits for Elms in the losing effort.
Elms returns to conference action on Saturday, March 24 when it hosts Becker College for a double-header starting at 1:00 p.m. at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Mass.