Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Elms College baseball team defeated visiting Becker College, 6-3, in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) game at MacKenzie Stadium Thursday night. The Blazers improve to 18-2 overall and 4-0 in league play, while the Hawks drop to 4-2 in the NECC and 9-7 on the season.
The Blazers broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third as freshman Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) came around to score on an RBI single from junior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) to stake Elms to 1-0 lead. Elms extended the lead to 2-0 in the fourth behind an RBI sacrifice fly from sophomore Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn.).
The Hawks responded in the top of the fifth with two as freshman Daniel Diaz (Teaneck, N.J.) and sophomore Chris Testa (Providence, R.I.) knocked RBI singled to even the score at 2-2.
Elms regained control in the bottom of the frame as a double steal put runners in scoring position, followed by a two-run single from junior Tim Gelzinis (N. Dighton, Mass.) to build a 4-2 lead for the Blazers. With two outs, senior Nolan Medeiros (Taunton, Mass.) ripped an RBI single down the left field line to put Elms ahead 5-2.
The Blazers tacked on an insurance run in the sixth as Hoss advanced to third on a single from junior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.) and then scored on an error by the Hawks.
Becker tried to rally in the seventh behind an RBI single from Testa, but Elms senior Tom Weldon (Springfield, Mass.) forced the Hawks to strand a pair with a strikeout and a groundout. Elms senior Brian Langdon (Beacon Falls, Conn.) limited the Hawks to one hit over the final two innings to lock up the 6-3 win.
Gelzinis went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Wadja added a pair of singles. Harrison, Medeiros and Ross drove in a run apiece. Weldon (5-0) earned the win, surrendering three runs on seven hits with a game-high nine strikeouts. Langdon recorded his fifth save of the season with two strikeouts in two scoreless frames.
Diaz, Testa, and freshman Tanyon Ventres (Holden, Mass.) tallied two pair each, while Testa knocked in a pair of runs. Senior Nick Lemay (Oxford, Mass.) took the loss, yielding five runs, two earned, on six hits with two strikeouts.
The two team will return to the diamond in an NECC doubleheader at Rochdale Park Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for Noon.