NASHUA, N.H. – Elms College senior left fielder Donny Morse (Alfred, Maine) went 2 for 5 at the plate with two RBI but top-seeded Daniel Webster College scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to top the fourth-seeded Blazers, 8-7 in Friday's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship tournament semifinal baseball game at Harvey Woods Field in Nashua, N.H.
With the loss, Elms moves to 13-23 on the season and will square off against No. 2 Becker College (19-20) at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 5. Daniel Webster improves to 21-17 and will play No. 3 Newbury College (22-19) following the conclusion of the Blazers and Hawks.
Elms took an early 3-0 lead in the first two innings thanks to a sacrifice fly by sophomore first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) in the first and an RBI single by freshman right fielder Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.) and a sacrifice fly by senior third baseman Andrew Kravontka (Manchester, Conn.) in the second.
Daniel Webster responded in the bottom of the third behind a two-run double by Kyle Brigham (Hudson, N.H.) and an attempted double-steal by the Eagles with one out in the inning to even the game at 3-3.
Daniel Webster added a run in the bottom of the fourth and two in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run two-bagger off the bat of Tyler Bonin (Litchfield, N.H.) to give the Eagles a 6-3 advantage.
The Blazers battled back in the top of the seventh frame when sophomore second baseman Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) reached on a two-out error by Daniel Webster and then scored on a double to right field by Pagano. A Morse single up the middle allowed Pagano to sprint home before Morse came full circle on a wild pitch to knot the game at 6-6.
Elms forged ahead in the top of the eighth inning when junior center fielder Steve Fisher (West Boylston, Mass.) pounded a double to left field and then scored on a Morse single to left field giving the Blazers a 7-6 edge.
The Eagles returned the favor in the last of the eighth when Erick Bourdeau (Alton Bay, N.H.) delivered an RBI single to even the game at 7-7 and then scored on a run-scoring base hit by Josh Chasse (Haverhill, Mass.) to give Daniel Webster a slim 8-7 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Forrest came through with a two-out single to right and stole second to give Elms the tying run in scoring position but Eagles' relief pitcher Korey LeLievre (Hudson, N.H.) forced a groundout to end the game.
LeLievre earned the save – his first of the season – while James Harvey (Nashua, N.H.) earned the win pitching just one third of an inning for the Eagles to improve to 1-0 on the season.
Elms' left-handed starter John Russell (Springfield, Mass.) pitched 7.1 innings and struck out six batters and suffered the loss to move to 1-4 on the season.
Forrest delivered three hits for the Blazers, while Fisher, Morse, senior catcher Rey Rivera (San Juan, Puerto Rico), senior shortstop Nico Iavicoli (Hampden, Mass.) and sophomore designated hitter Felix Montalvo (Carolina, Puerto Rico) added two hits each in the loss.
Elliot Kilgore (Milford, N.H.), Darrick Marstaller (Spofford, N.H.), Bonin and Bourdeau each accounted for two hits, while Brigham and Bonin drove in two runs each for Daniel Webster.