BENNINGTON, Vt. - After posting a victory in game one of the three-game set, the Elms College baseball team suffered a double-header sweep at the hands of Southern Vermont College as the Mountaineers posted wins of 6-3 and 12-10 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action on Saturday at Bill Epstein Field in Bennington, Vt.
With the two losses, Elms moves to 12-18 on the season, 8-6 in NECC action, while Southern Vermont improves to 9-26 overall, 5-10 in league play.
In game one the Mountaineers rallied behind, Kurt Kowalczyk (Amsterdam, N.Y.), who the second straight week, pitched a complete game gem. The left hander pitched six scoreless before his 20.1 scoreless innings streak was snapped. Kowalczyk gave up three runs, only one earned in the seventh inning to snap the streak.
On the offensive side, Southern Vermont cashed in six times on five hits and four walks along with two Elms errors. Five of the Mountaineers' runs came in the third inning when Keith Diotte (Cambridge, N.Y.) and Pat Warrington (Folcroft, Pa.) walked before a Corey Armstrong (Bennington, Vt.) single plated Diotte. Cody LaBadia (Howes Caves, N.Y.) then walked to load the bases and set up a Sal Sciara (Massapequa, N.Y.) inside the park grand slam.
Elms' senior catcher Rey Rivera (San Juan, Puerto Rico) led the Blazers with a 2 for 4 effort at the plate with an RBI in game one, while sophomore shortstop Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) also had a multi-hit game with a 2 for 3 performance. In the seventh inning, sophomore right fielder Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.) led off with a double and came around to score when Southern Vermont fumbled the ball in the outfield. King then walked and scored when senior second baseman Nico Iavicoli (Hampden, Mass.) singled. Iavicoli later scored on the Mountaineers' third error of the inning.
In game two, Southern Vermont used back-to-back five-run second and third innings after trailing 1-0 to stake a 10-1 cushion. Elms answered with three in the fifth and four in the sixth sandwiched around two Mountaineers' runs that allowed Southern Vermont to stake a 12-8 advantage entering the seventh frame. The Blazers added two tallies in the seventh but couldn't even the game as Southern Vermont held on for a 12-10 victory.
Max Ginter (Hamden, Conn.) pitched 4.1 innings before he was pulled due to injury. Ginter improved to 3-5 on the season as he scattered three hits and walked four. Corey Briggs (Wood River, R.I.) came on in relief of Ginter to pitch one inning before Dave Northup finished the game with 1.2 stanzas of work.
At the plate Sciara went 4 for 4, while LaBadia added a 3 for 4 day highlighted by a home run to right center field. Jarod Hayen (Esperance, N.Y.) went 2 for 4 in game two with two runs driven in.
Every Mountaineer had a hit in the second game as Armstrong, Dave Northup (Richmond, R.I.), and Diotte also had two hit games.
Elms was led at the plate by junior center fielder Steve Fisher (West Boylston, Mass.) who scored three runs while seven Blazers had a tally in the hit column in game two.
Elms returns to NECC action when it hosts Lesley University on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Mass.