NASHUA, N.H. – Elms College senior pitcher Matt Wood (Feeding Hills, Mass.) tossed five strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work and sophomore first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) added two hits, but it was not enough as the fourth-seed Blazers fell to No. 3 Newbury College, 4-1 in Saturday afternoon's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship tournament semifinal baseball game at Harvey Woods Field in Nashua, N.H.
With the loss, Elms concludes its season 14-25 overall, while Newbury (23-20) advances to face top-seeded Daniel Webster College on Sunday in the double-elimination championship game.
In the top of the first inning, Newbury took advantage of a failed pick-off attempt by Elms as Michael Dwyer (Hamden, Conn.), who walked to leadoff the game, scored from third on the play.
The Nighthawks then scratched across two runs in the top of the second inning on an RBI groundout by Dwyer and a run-scoring single to left field by Matthew Clawson (Tolland, Conn.) to give Newbury a 3-0 cushion.
Neither side registered a run over the next three innings as Wood and Nighthawks' starter Jorge Pimentel (Winsted, Conn.) each settled into a rhythm on the hill.
The Blazers narrowed their deficit to two in the bottom of the sixth when Pagano ripped a leadoff triple to right field and then scored on a two-out wild pitch to set the score at 3-1.
Newbury extended its lead back to three runs in the top of the seventh frame when Alex Chetelat (Farmington, Conn.) doubled, advanced to third on a groundout and then scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Steven Broy (Gorham, Maine) to give the Nighthawks a 4-1 lead.
Elms advanced a runner as far as second base in the eighth inning but could not chip into the lead as the Blazers were also retired in order in the ninth to seal the victory for Newbury.
Pimentel (3-2) pitched all nine innings for the Nighthawks, striking out three batters en route to the victory.
Wood suffered the loss for Elms and concludes his season 0-2 overall. Senior lefty reliever Andrew Bunger (Southington, Conn.) pitched 2.2 innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out three batters, and junior right-hander Ryan Burnette (Chicopee, Mass.) followed with 1.1 frames of scoreless relief.