HOLYOKE, Mass. – Elms College senior left fielder Donny Morse (Alfred, Maine) went a combined 3 for 5 at the plate with four RBI and junior center fielder Steve Fisher (West Boylston, Mass.) notched his 100th hit to help spark the Blazers to 6-5 and 5-4 victories over Mitchell College in Saturday's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) baseball double-header at MacKenzie Stadium.
With the wins, Elms improves to 10-15 on the season, 6-4 in NECC play, while Mitchell falls to 5-15 overall 4-7 in league action. The sides will play a single, nine-inning game on Sunday, April 15 in New London, Conn. at 2:00 p.m.
Elms 6, Mitchell 5
Mitchell got off to a fast start in game one, plating three runs in the top of the first frame on the strength of an RBI single by Will Charkowski (Cold Spring, N.Y.) and a two-run double to right off the bat of Ethan Graynor (Leonia, N.J.) to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead.
Tyler Shultis (West Hurley, N.Y.) drove in a pair of runs in the top of the third inning to extend Mitchell's lead to 5-0.
Elms answered with three runs in the bottom of the third frame when Morse singled in senior second baseman Nico Iavicoli (Hampden, Mass.), while a pair of runs scored on Mariners' miscues allowing the Blazers to pull to within two at 5-3.
Elms' sophomore right fielder Felix Montalvo (Carolina, Puerto Rico) scored on an error in the bottom of the fourth, before the Blazers used a pair of bases-loaded RBI walks to sophomore shortstop Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) and Morse to give Elms a 6-5 lead.
From there, Elms' junior reliever Ryan Burnette (Chicopee, Mass.) was able to keep the Mariners off the board and preserve the win, pitching two scoreless innings to improve to 2-3 on the season.
Mitchell starter Justin Lemanski (New Britain, Conn.) suffered the loss to fall to 2-3 overall.
Montalvo and senior third baseman Andrew Kravontka (Manchester, Conn.) added two hits each in the win.
Elms 5, Mitchell 4
Mitchell again got off to a quick start as Evan Peck (Shelton, Conn.) singled in Nick Carlson (Old Lyme, Conn.) and later scored on an error to give the Mariners a 2-0 advantage.
Elms cut the lead in half as Iavicoli ripped a two-out double and then scored on a single to left by Morse in the bottom of the first to set the score at 2-1.
After trading runs in the third stanza, Elms plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth as Montalvo cranked a triple to right center field scoring sophomore first baseman Zach Dreher (Naugatuck, Conn.), while Kravontka added an RBI single and Iavicoli earned an RBI free pass to give the Blazers a 5-3 edge.
The Mariners plated a run in the top of the seventh when Carlson doubled, moved to third on a fly out and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Charkowsky to cut Mitchell's deficit to 5-4. Elms' sophomore reliever Derek Leal (Charlton, Mass.) who entered in the top of the seventh for senior reliever Andrew Bunger (Southington, Conn.), tossed a strikeout to end the game and seal his third save of the season.
Elms' sophomore starter Curtis LeBeau (Auburn, Mass.) pitched the first 5.1 to earn the win (3-3) while Mitchell starter Mike Sturges (New Britain, Conn.) suffered the loss.
Carlson connected for three hits to lead the Mariners in defeat, while Kravontka added two hits for Elms.