HOLYOKE, Mass. – Elms College junior right-handed starter Ryan Burnette (Chicopee, Mass.) scattered four hits and struck out 11 batters, while sophomore left fielder Felix Montalvo (Carolina, Puerto Rico) drove in three runs to help spark the Blazers to an 8-2 victory over Lesley University in Tuesday evening's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) baseball game at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Mass.
With the win, Elms improves to 13-18 overall, 9-6 in NECC action, while Lesley falls to 7-23 on the season, 3-11 in conference play.
After two and a half scoreless innings, Elms pushed across six in the bottom of the third inning when freshman right fielder Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.), senior third baseman Andrew Kravontka (Manchester, Conn.) and sophomore shortstop Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) each got on base via walk. The fourth walk of the inning, issued to sophomore first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.), drove in the first run, and a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Rey Rivera (San Juan, Puerto Rico) brought in the second run to give the Blazers a 2-0 lead. Following a base on balls to senior second baseman Nico Iavicoli (Hampden, Mass.), Montalvo ripped a triple to deep left field clearing the bases and he scored on an errant throw from the outfield to extend the lead to 6-0.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Forrest singled in Montalvo who reached with a base hit to start the frame, and junior center fielder Steve Fisher (West Boylston, Mass.) later plated a run on a groundout allowing senior designated hitter Sean Shanley (Bristol, Conn.) to score to increase Elms' lead to 8-0.
Burnette cruised through the first eight innings, allowing just two singles in the top of the third inning, while striking out 10 before Lesley tallied a pair of runs in the top of the ninth when David Hersey (Wolfeboro, N.H.) reached on an error, advanced to third on a double to left field by Aqib Shah (Watertown, Mass.) and then scored when Pete Plansky (Litchfield, N.H.) belted a two-run double right field to set the score at 8-2. Burnette then dealt his 11th punch-out of the contest and induced a game-ending lineout to second base to seal the victory for the Blazers.
Burnette improved to 4-3 on the season in the complete-game effort and did not register a walk.
Montalvo connected for two of the Blazers' five hits in the game highlighted by the three-run triple, while Fisher, Pagano, Forrest and Rivera each accounted for an RBI.
Lynx starter Ray Cohen (Coventry, Conn.) suffered the loss, tossing 6.0 frames on the hill, scattering five hits while fanning two batters. Joseph Santos (Springfield, Mass.) pitched two scoreless innings of relief for Lesley.
Elms returns to non-league action on Wednesday, April 25 at Springfield College at 3:30 p.m.