NEW LONDON, Conn. – Elms College senior left fielder Donny Morse (Alfred, Maine) went 4 for 5 at the plate with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI to help pace the Blazers to a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) baseball game against Mitchell College on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field in New London, Conn.
With the win, Elms improves to 11-15 overall, 7-4 in conference play, while Mitchell falls to 5-16 on the season, 4-8 in league action.
Elms got off to a quick start, plating two runs in the top of the first on the strength of an RBI single to right by senior second baseman Nico Iavicoli (Hampden, Mass.) and a single up the middle that scored a run by senior catcher Rey Rivera (San Juan, Puerto Rico).
After Mitchell responded with two runs in the bottom of the second frame behind a two-run double from Drew Doyle (Mystic, Conn.), Elms regained the lead when junior center fielder Steve Fisher (West Boylston, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch in the top of the third, followed by an RBI single through the left side by sophomore designated hitter Felix Montalvo (Carolina, Puerto Rico) and an RBI fielder's choice by senior second baseman Andrew Kravontka (Manchester, Conn.) to set the score at 5-2 in the top of the fourth.
The Mariners pulled to within one in the home half of the fourth when Gavin LaLima (Waterford, Conn.) notched an RBI double and Evan Peck (Shelton, Conn.) drove in a run on a groundout to set the score at 5-4.
Elms began to pull away in the top of the fifth when Iavicoli and Morse drove in back-to-back runs with a single and a double respectively, while senior first baseman Sean Shanley (Bristol, Conn.) later delivered an RBI single through the right side. After a Montalvo single jammed the sacks, freshman right fielder Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.) was hit by a pitch to drive in the Blazers' fourth run of the inning to give Elms a 9-4 lead.
Leading 9-5 heading to the seventh, Fisher drove in a run on a triple to deep center field and then scored on a rip to left center by sophomore shortstop Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) upping the lead to 11-5.
Elms added two more tallies on a two-run base-hit down the left field line off the bat of Forrest in the top of the eight to build the lead to 13-5.
The Mariners pushed across two in the eighth when Doyle scored on a double-play and Rafael Garcia (New Britain, Conn.) drove in the final run of the game with a single through the left side as Elms completed the sweep with a 13-7 win.
Forrest finished with three RBI, while Iavicoli drove in two runs and was one of six Blazers to record multiple hits in the game. King was 3 for 6, while Rivera, Shanley and Montalvo added two hits each in the winning effort.
Senior reliever Andrew Bunger (Southington, Conn.) pitched the final 4.1 innings, striking out four to improve to 1-3 overall.
Mike Grofsick (Hawthorne, N.J.) pitched the first four frames and took the loss to fall to 0-5 on the season for Mitchell, while Doyle led the way offensively for the Mariners going 4 for 4 with two runs and two RBI. LaLima added three hits in the losing effort.
Elms returns to non-conference action on Wednesday, April 18 at Framingham State University at 3:30 p.m.