Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
HAMDEN, Conn. – The Elms College baseball squad host Albertus Magnus College in a non-conference doubleheader at Rochford Field Wednesday afternoon. The Blazers captured a 12-4 victory in the opener, and then edged the Falcons, 1-0, in the nightcap. Elms improves to 16-2 on the season, while Albertus Magnus moves to 5-6 overall.
Game 1: Elms 12, Albertus Magnus 4
The Blazers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, posting three runs in the top of the first inning. After a single from junior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) loaded the bases with no outs, junior Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) delivered a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring freshman Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) to stake Elms to a 1-0 lead. Junior Tim Gelzinis (N. Dighton, Mass.) laced an RBI single up the middle of the diamond to push the Blazers advantage to 2-0. Elms added their final run of the frame as senior Nolan Medeiros (Taunton, Mass.) drew a bases loaded walk to make it a 3-0 game.
In the top of the third, freshman Josh Berthiaume (Pittsfield, Mass.) registered his first career RBI with a sac fly to centerfield to hand the Blazers a 4-0 lead. Sophomore Andy Vasquez (Queens, N.Y.) raced home an error by the Falcons as sophomore Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn.) swiped second base to extend the Elms advantage to 5-0.
Albertus Magnus cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the third behind an RBI single from senior Tyler Robertson (Chesire, Conn.) to trim the Blazers lead to 5-1.
The Blazers extended their advantage in the fifth as Medeiros opened with inning with a single, and advanced to second on a passed ball. Medeiros came around to score on a wild pitch from Falcons senior Dan Zarnik (Hamden, Conn.) to give Elms a 6-1 lead. With the bases loaded, Harrison ripped a two-run single down the left field line, scoring Hoss and sophomore Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn.) to swell the Blazers lead to 8-1.
The Falcons responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame with Robertson being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, followed by and RBI fielder's choice from senior Justin Poirier (Meriden, Conn.) to cut the deficit to 8-3 after five innings.
The Elms bats remained hot in the sixth and seventh, scoring a pair of runs in each inning. In the sixth, Berthiaume struck again with a two-run double to right field, followed by RBIs from Gelzinis and senior Derron Simpson (Hempstead, N.Y.) in the seventh to lock up the 12-4 victory.
Gelzinis went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Harrison was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Berthiaume knocked in a career-high three runs. Elms senior Kyle Bartlett (2-0, Huntington, Mass.) earned the win in five innings of work, allowing three runs on four hits with a strikeout.
Robertson was 2-for-3 with three RBIS for the Falcons, while freshman Tyriq Harris (Waterbury, Conn.) knocked a pair of singles. Junior Jon Criscio (East Haven, Conn.) took the loss, surrendering seven runs, four earned, on four hits in four-plus innings pitched.
Game 2: Elms 1, Albertus Magnus 0
The nightcap proved to be a pitcher's duel between the Blazers staff and Falcons junior Christopher Rivera (New Britain, Conn.). Both sides were limited to two hits each over the first three innings of play.
In the top of the fourth, the Blazers broke through as Harrison led the frame off with a single, and then went first-to-third on a single from Zima. Gelzinis delivered a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Harrison to scamper home from third to stake Elms to a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Anthony Palumbo (Bedford, N.Y.) relieved Elms junior starter Cody Lemieux (Torrington, Conn.) in the fourth, and held the Falcons to two hits across three scoreless innings of work. Medeiros entered in the seventh to record his second save of the season in a scoreless inning of relief to lock up the 1-0 win.
The Blazers will be back on the diamond when they host Becker College in New England Collegiate Conference action Thursday at MacKenzie Stadium at 8:00 p.m. Albertus Magnus travels to Westfield State for a non-conference doubleheader Saturday at Noon.