Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Elms College baseball team picked up their fifth consecutive victory with a 9-6 non-conference win over Baruch College at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic Monday morning at Terry Park. The Blazers improve to 5-1 on the season, while Baruch drops to 4-6 overall.
The Bearcats dealt the first blow in the top of the first inning as senior Matthew Ballone (West Babylon, N.Y.) scored on an error by the Blazers to give Baruch the 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning, the Blazers cracked the scoreboard with five runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) evened the score with an RBI double, followed by a two-run single from junior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.) to stake Elms to a 3-1 lead. Junior Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) plated Wadja with an RBI single, and then junior Tim Gelzinis (N. Dighton, Mass.) knocked an RBI single to push the Blazers advantage to 5-1.
The Bearcats rallied in the top of the fifth to grab a lead. With the bases loaded and no outs, sophomore Donovan Hunt (Kings Park, N.Y.) brought in the first run with an RBI single, followed by two runs scoring on a bases loaded hit by pitch and walk. Baruch grabbed the lead as senior Luca Altamirano (Flushing, N.Y.) ripped a two-run single to left field, putting the Bearcats on top 6-5.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Blazers regained control as junior Brian Hungerford (New Preston, Conn.) doubled and senior Nolan Medeiros (Taunton, Mass.) singled to put runners on for Elms. Sophomore Andy Vasquez (Queens, N.Y.) laced an RBI double, scoring Hungerford to knot the game at 6-6. With two outs, Wadja knocked a two-run single to hand Elms an 8-6 lead.
The Bearcats threatened in the eighth but Elms senior Brian Langdon (Beacon Falls, Conn.) held Baruch off the scoreboard, and then Medeiros took the mound in the ninth and gave up one hit in an inning of work to register his first career save in his first career pitching appearance.
The Blazers racked up 15 hits in the win, led by a game-high four hits from Gelzinis. Wadja went 3-for-4 from the dish with four RBIs, while Zima, Medeiros and Vasquez added two hits and an RBI apiece. Langdon (1-0) earned his first career win, scattering three hits in three scoreless innings of work. Senior Kyle Bartlett (Huntington, Mass.) started for the Blazers, allowing one run on two hits with six strikeouts.
Baruch was paced by two-hit efforts from Altamirano, Hunt and freshman Michael McGroarty (Bohemia, N.Y.). Altamirano knocked in a pair of runs, while Hunt, junior Dan Daley (West Islip, N.Y.), and junior Robert McMahon (Williamsburg, N.Y.) drove in one run each. Sophomore David Aponte (Staten Island, N.Y.) took the loss in relief, surrendering three runs on three hits in just 1/3 of an inning pitched. Junior starter Basil Lyons (New York, N.Y.) gave up five runs on five hits in two innings of work.
The Blazers will be back on the diamond Wednesday afternoon with a doubleheader against the US Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). First pitch of game one is at 9:00 a.m. Baruch faces William Patterson University Thursday at 3:30 p.m.