NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Elms College junior center fielder Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.) went 4 for 5 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored but Becker College posted two runs in the bottom of the third and three in the bottom of the fourth frames and the Hawks outlasted the Blazers' rally to stake a 5-3 victory in Saturday afternoon's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) baseball game at Northbridge Middle School in Northbridge, Mass.
With the loss, Elms moves to 2-8 overall, 0-1 in NECC action, while Becker improves to 7-7 on the season, 5-2 in conference play.
After two and a half innings of scoreless baseball, Becker opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Matt Consigli (Whitinsville, Mass.) cracked a one-out double to left field and then scored on an RBI double to left by Mike Marcello (West Haven, Conn.). Shaun Millerick (Hampton, N.H.), who had reached on a hit by pitch in the previous at-bat, was thrown out at home on the play to keep the score at 1-0. The Hawks later extended the lead to 2-0 when Chris Flanders (Londonderry, N.H.) drew a bases-loaded walk sending Marcello home with the second tally of the frame.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Hawks' first hitters of the stanza were hit by a pitch and both scored when Consigli laced a two-run double to left field to give Becker a 4-0 lead. After a sacrifice bunt by Millerick advanced Consigli to third, he then crossed the dish on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 5-0.
The Blazers responded in the top of the fifth frame when Forrest led off with a single to left, advanced to second on a base hit to right by sophomore shortstop Nolan Medeiros (Taunton, Mass.) and then moved to third when senior catcher Zach Dreher (Naugatuck, Conn.) earned a free pass to load the bases. Senior designated hitter Sam Farnsworth (Westfield, Mass.) then connected for an RBI base hit to give the Blazers their first run of the game. After a fly out, freshman first baseman Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) reached on an error allowing Medeiros to scamper home and set the score at 5-2 before a double play ended the inning.
Elms struck again in the top of the eighth stanza when freshman left fielder Tim Gelzinis (North Dighton, Mass.) poked a one-out single to right field, advanced to second on a walk issued to sophomore second baseman Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.) and then came home on a run-scoring single off the bat of Forrest to make it 5-3. Becker reliever Tyler Wagar (Uxbridge, Mass.), who entered in the seventh, fanned the next batter to keep the Blazers' deficit at two runs.
After Bartlett tossed his fifth frame of scoreless relief in the bottom of the eighth, Wagar was able to retire Elms in order in the top of the ninth as the Hawks held on for the 5-3 victory.
LeBeau allowed five runs on three hits, walked four and struck out three and suffered the loss, while Bartlett pitched five frames of scoreless baseball and surrendered just two hits, walked three, and fanned four batters in a no-decision.
Nick Lemay (Oxford, Mass.) earned the win on the hill for Becker. He allowed two runs (one earned) on 10 hits, walked one and struck out five. Wagar allowed one run on two hits and dealt one strikeout to earn his first save of the season.
Forrest was 4 for 5 with a triple, while Gelzinis added a 3 for 4 effort at the dish with a run scored to lead the Blazers' offensive efforts.
Consigli was 2 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Marcello was 2 for 4 with a run scored and one driven in for Becker.
Elms returns to non-league play on Wednesday, April 2 when it travels to Wesleyan University (Conn.) for a 4:00 p.m. contest.