HOLYOKE, Mass. – Elms College sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Curtis LeBeau (Auburn, Mass.) tossed a complete game and allowed just two hits, and senior third baseman Nico Iavicoli (Hampden, Mass.) was 4 for 4 with three runs scored and three RBI to help pace the Blazers to a 9-1 victory over Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in Thursday afternoon's non-conference baseball game at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Mass.
With the win, Elms improves to 6-11 overall, while MCLA moves to 8-8 on the season.
The Blazers gave LeBeau an early cushion, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first and the bottom of the third to highlight a 5-0 lead after three innings.
An RBI single by sophomore shortstop Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) drove in junior center fielder Steve Fisher (West Boylston, Mass.), while a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior left fielder Donny Morse (Alfred, Maine) plated King to give Elms a 2-0 advantage.
Following an RBI groundout by sophomore first baseman Zach Dreher (Naugatuck, Conn.) plating Iavicoli from third in the bottom of the second, the Blazers pushed across two more in the home half of the third when Iavicoli ripped a two-run double to right center field to extend the lead to 5-0.
LeBeau kept the MCLA bats at bay, retiring the Trailblazers in order through the first 5.1 innings of play. With one out in the top of the sixth, Derek Lescarbeau (Pittsfield, Mass.) broke up LeBeau's perfect game bid when he reached on an Elms miscue to give MCLA its first base-runner of the game. LeBeau then used an inning-ending double play to get out of the frame unscathed.
The Blazers added a run in the bottom of the sixth when Iavicoli doubled and then scored on an RBI base hit to center by Dreher to increase the lead to 6-0 before a three-spot in the bottom of the seventh gave Elms a 9-0 cushion.
An RBI double by Iavicoli – his third two-bagger of the game – drove in freshman right fielder Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.) and a single to right field by senior designated hitter Sean Shanley (Bristol, Conn.) plated Iavicoli. Sophomore second baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) scored the third run of the inning when he crossed the dish on a double-play ball.
LeBeau entered the top of the eighth stanza with a no-hitter intact before the inning's leadoff hitter, Rory Slattery (Pittsfield, Mass.) laced a double to center field and moved to third on an error to give MCLA its first hit of the contest. Slattery was stranded at third as LeBeau forced a line out, a foul out and a fielder's choice to keep the shutout alive.
The Trailblazers finally notched a run in the top of the ninth when Ryan Shewchuk (Springfield, Mass.) walked, advanced to second on a ground out and scored on a pinch-hit single by Peter Dassatti (North Adams, Mass.) to cap the scoring at 9-1.
LeBeau improved to 2-2 on the hill this season pitching the complete game allowing just one run on two hits while striking out two batters. MCLA's DJ Clark (Pittsfield, Mass.) suffered the loss to fall to 2-2 overall.
Pagano and Dreher collected two hits each, while Dreher drove in two runs and Pagano scored two runs and walked twice in the winning effort.
Elms returns to non-conference play on Sunday, April 1 when its hosts Worcester State University for a 1:00 p.m. game at MacKenzie Stadium.