HOLYOKE, Mass. – Elms College sophomore game one pitcher Tom Weldon (Springfield, Mass.) fanned six batters in seven innings but Becker College used a pair of runs in the top of the first of game one and a grand slam from Matt Consigli (Whitinsville, Mass.) in game two to help the Hawks stake wins of 3-1 and 9-4 in Monday's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) baseball double header at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Mass.
With the losses, Elms moves to 8-15 overall, 4-7 in NECC action, while Becker improves to 16-12 on the season, 11-4 in conference play.
Game One: Becker 3, Elms 1
In game one, Chris Testa (Providence, R.I.) led off the top of the first with a double to center field, C.J. Flanders (Londonderry, N.H.) was hit by a pitch and Consigli singled down the left field line allowing Testa to score from second before Flanders was thrown out at third. Following a groundout, Tom Natoli (Suffern, N.Y.) delivered a run-scoring single through the right side of the infield to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead before Weldon forced a fly out to end the threat.
In the bottom of the first, sophomore shortstop Nolan Medeiros (Taunton, Mass.) reached on a one-out errant throw and advanced to second on the play before a single off the bat of senior catcher Zach Dreher (Naugatuck, Conn.) moved him to third. Medeiros was then picked off by pitcher Tyler Wagar (Uxbridge, Mass.) to give Becker two outs in the frame. A single to left by senior designated hitter Sam Farnsworth (Westfield, Mass.) advanced Dreher 90 feet to second but a fielder's choice ended the inning.
Both pitchers settled in and combined to pitch four scoreless innings of baseball before the Hawks added to their lead in the in top of the sixth when Consigli was hit by a pitch with one out, advanced to second on single by Mike Marcello (West Haven, Conn.), stole third and then scored on an errant throw to set the score at 3-0. Weldon kept the deficit at three runs after fanning the next batter and inducing an inning-ending groundout.
After six scoreless innings on the hill, Wagar allowed a run in the bottom of the seventh as Elms' freshman first baseman Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) singled and was then pinch-run for by Arthur Tisi (Somers, N.Y.). A hit-and-run single up the middle by senior right fielder Alex King (Lebanon, Conn.) advanced Tisi to third before he scored on freshman left fielder Tim Gelzinis' (North Dighton, Mass.) fielder's choice. A groundout and Wagar's fifth strikeout of the contest got Becker out of the jam and preserved the 3-1 victory.
Wagar improved to 2-1 on the mound after allowing just one run on six hits. Weldon moves to 2-4 on the season.
Game Two: Becker 9, Elms 4
In game two, the teams exchanged runs in the first inning before Becker erupted for a six-run second stanza. An RBI single to left field by Randall Minogue (North Kingstown, R.I.) and a sacrifice fly to left field by Testa preceded a grand slam hit to left field by Consigli to give the Hawks a 7-1 advantage.
The Blazers got a run back in the bottom of the second frame when Farnsworth poked a one-out single to right, advanced to second on a base hit to center by Medeiros, advanced to third on a base hit to left by Gelzinis to load the bases, and then scored following a miscue in the outfield to set the score at 7-2.
Elms' freshman reliever Cody Lemieux (Torrington, Conn.), who entered with one out in the second, held the Hawks scorless over the next three frames and allowed just single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Blazers added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Dreher that plated junior center fielder Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.) who reached on a one-out free pass earlier in the inning. Elms then added its fourth tally of the contest in the last of the seventh as Forrest, who reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and then scored on an RBI single to right field by junior third baseman Geoff Frost (Ludlow, Mass.) to set the final margin at 9-4.
Lemieux was stellar in 5.2 innings of relief tossing five strikeouts in the no-decision. Senior Derek Leal (Charlton, Mass.) suffered the loss to move to 1-2. Frost was 3 for 4 at the plate with two RBI and Farnsworth had two hits in the losing effort for the Blazers.
Becker starter Tony Cantalupo (De Pere, Wisc.) pitched five frames and moved to 3-0 on the season allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits while fanning five batters. Nick Lemay (Oxford, Mass.) pitched two innings of relief and allowed one run on two hits.
Consigli was 3 for 4 with five runs driven in while Minogue and Natoli had two hits each.
Elms returns to NECC action on Thursday, April 24 when it takes on Lesley University. Elms will serve as the away team but the double header will be played at MacKenzie Stadium at 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.