Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
PURCHASE, N.Y. – The Elms College baseball team extended their program mark for consecutive victories, registering their 11th straight win with a sweep of host Purchase College in a non-conference doubleheader at Silver Lake Park Saturday afternoon. The Blazers improve to 11-1 on the season, while Purchase dips to 2-5 overall.
Game 1: Elms 2, Purchase 0
The opening featured a pair of quality pitching performances from Elms senior Tom Weldon (Springfield, Mass.) and Purchase junior Miguel Reyes (Bronx, N.Y.), who combined to allow four hits in the game. After a scoreless first inning, the Blazers had a chance to crack the scoreboard in the second, loading the bases with one out, but Reyes was able to induce a double-play ball to end the inning. Purchase threatened in the third, but left a runner stranded at third base.
The Blazers broke through in the fourth inning with a single from junior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) and double from junior Tim Gelzinis (N. Dighton, Mass.) to put runners on second and third. Harrison raced home on a fielding error by the Panthers, followed by Gelzinis scampering home on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Dan Brunetti (Enfield, Conn.) to stake Elms to a 2-0 lead.
Weldon gave up just one hit over the next two innings until being relieved by senior Brian Langdon (Beacon Falls, Conn.) in the sixth. Langdon fired two scoreless frames to secure the 2-0 victory.
Weldon (2-0) limited the Panthers to one hit in five innings of work with three strikeouts. Reyes (0-1) took the complete game loss, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits with two strikeouts.
Game 2: Elms 5, Purchase 2
The Panthers grabbed an early lead in the nightcap as senior Brendan LaPorte (Farmington, Conn.) scored on a wild pitch from Elms senior Kyle Bartlett (Huntington, Mass.). Elms responded in the top of the second with Gelzinis leading the inning off with a double, and then scoring on an error by Purchase.
Tied 1-1 entering the fifth, the Blazers took the lead as freshman Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) knocked a two-out single and advanced to second on the throw, and then scored on an RBI double from junior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.).
In the top of the sixth, the Blazers padded their advantage as junior Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) ripped a lead-off single, followed by another double from Gelzinis to put runners in scoring position. Sophomore Andy Vasquez (Queens, N.Y.) laced a two-run double to plate Zima and Gelzinis and extend the Elms lead to 4-1.
The Panthers chipped into the Blazers lead in the bottom of the frame as junior Patrick Rucci (Cortland Manor, N.Y.) delivered an RBI groundout. The Blazers netted an insurance run in the seventh with senior R.J. Lyrenmann (Glendale, Ariz.) knocking an leadoff double, and then scored on an RBI fielder's choice from Wadja to send Elms to the 5-2 win.
Hoss and Gelzinis recorded two hits each, while Vasquez and Wadja drove in a pair of runs apiece. Bartlett (1-0) collected his first victory of the season, surrendering one run on two hits with a strikeout. Purchase junior Andrew Fingerhut (0-2; Smithtown, N.Y.) was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits with four strikeouts.
The Blazers will return to action when they open their New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) schedule against Daniel Webster Wednesday evening at MacKenzie Stadium. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. Purchase faces City College of New York in a doubleheader Monday at 11:00 a.m.