Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Elms College baseball squad picked up their fourth straight victory, defeating visiting Southern Vermont College, 6-4, in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) game at MacKenzie Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Blazers improve to 12-12 overall, and 7-6 in NECC play, while the Mountaineers dropped to 10-13, and 3-6 on the season.
After a scoreless first inning of play, the Blazers struck first as freshman Andy Vasquez (Queens, N.Y.) delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the second to stake Elms to a 1-0 lead. The Blazers built on their lead to 3-0 in the third on an RBI double from freshman Michael Bombard (Chicopee, Mass.), followed by an RBI groundout from sophomore Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.).
The Mountaineers plated their first run in the fifth on an RBI single from senior Chris Nicastro Jr. (Kenilworth, N.J.), but the Blazers answered in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single from junior Brian Hungerford (New Preston, Conn.). In the sixth, an RBI single from Southern Vermont freshman Eric Fields (Lakewood, Calif.) cut the Mountaineers deficit to 4-2.
The Blazers pulled away from Southern Vermont in the bottom of the seventh as Hungerford and Harrison came around to score on a two-out double from senior Brady Forrest (Hampden, Mass.), extending Elms' lead to 6-2. The Mountaineers closed the gap to 6-4 on a two-run double by Nicastro Jr. in the eight, but Elms junior Brian Langdon (Beacon Falls, Conn.) shut down Southern Vermont in the ninth to preserve the Blazers 6-4 victory.
Bombard (1-1) recorded his first collegiate win in six innings of work, allowing two runs on eight hits with a career-high nine strikeouts. Langdon registered his fourth save of the season, while Southern Vermont sophomore Dylan Angelo (0-3; Ft. Johnson, N.Y.) took the loss, surrendering six runs, five earned, on nine hits with five strikeouts.
Vasquez and sophomore Tim Gelzinis (North Dighton, Mass.) led Elms from the dish with two hits apiece, and Forrest knocked in a pair. Nicastro and sophomore Anthony Mercuri (Ridge, N.Y.) went 3-for-5 for Southern Vermont, while junior RJ Pingitore (Amsterdam, N.Y.) and freshman Niko D'Agnese (Westchester, N.Y.) added two hits each.
The Blazers will return to action with an NECC doubleheader against Newbury at MacKenzie Stadium Thursday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Southern Vermont hosts Becker Tuesday afternoon in NECC play at 4:00 p.m.