Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
ROCHDALE, Mass. – The Elms College baseball team suffered a pair of losses in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader against host Becker College at Rochdale Park Saturday afternoon. The Blazers fell 5-1 in the opener, and then lost 9-5 in the finales. Elms moves to 18-4 on the season and 4-2 in conference play, while Becker improves to 11-7, and 6-2 in the NECC.
Game 1: Becker 5, Elms 1
Becker grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with sophomore Josiah Shepard (Providence, R.I.) knocking a leadoff single, stealing second base, and scoring on an RBI groundout from sophomore Christopher Testa (Providence, R.I.) to hand the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The Blazers evened the score in the top of the second as senior Nolan Medeiros (Taunton, Mass.) and junior Tim Gelzinis (N. Dighton, Mass.) pulled off a double steal, allowing Gelzinis to score from third to make it 1-1.
The Hawks regained a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third with Shepard scoring as Testa legged out an RBI single to shortstop. Becker extended their advantage in the fourth behind an RBI groundout from junior Vaibhav Desai (Waltham, Mass.) and an RBI single from freshman Tanyon Ventres (Holden, Mass.) to take a 4-1 lead. The Hawks tacked on a final run in the fifth on an RBI single from junior T.J. Sempkowski (Oceanport, N.J.) en route to the 5-1 win.
Becker junior starter Tyler Wagar (4-0; Uxbridge, Mass.) held the Blazers to one hit in a seven inning, complete game effort. Elms senior Andrew Sadowski (3-2; Northampton, Mass.) was saddled with the loss, allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Game 2: Becker 9, Elms 5
The Blazers struck first in the nightcap as Gelzinis scored on an RBI fielder's choice from Medeiros in the top of the second to stake Elms to a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, Becker knotted the game at 1-1 as junior Niko Bedell (Manorville, N.Y.) launched a solo home run over the left field fence.
In the top of the fourth, the Blazers grabbed the lead as sophomore Andy Vasquez (Queens, N.Y.) lined a single to left field, and then came around to score on an RBI single from junior Brian Hungerford (New Preston, Conn.). Elms pushed their lead to 3-1 with Medeiros scoring on an RBI sacrifice fly from freshman Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) in the following at-bat.
The Hawks tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the frame behind a two-run double from Desai, who was cut down at third base on a relay from centerfield.
Becker broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth with a six-run inning. Testa delivered a leadoff triple, and scored on an RBI single from Sempkowski. Barrera plated Sempkowski with an RBI double, followed by a two-run single from junior Gabriel Bovenzi (Shirley, N.Y.). Desai and Bovenzi came around to score on wild pitches to extend the Hawks lead to 9-3.
Elms mounted a rally in the top of the seventh with Gelzinis bringing home junior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) on an RBI groundout, followed by freshman Josh Berthiaume (Pittsfield, Mass.) doubling to right field and scoring on a wild pitch, but the Blazers came up short, falling to the Hawks 9-5.
Elms junior Cody Lemieux (Torrington, Conn.) and Becker freshman Michael Bovenzi (Shirley, N.Y.) took no decisions as starters with Lemieux allowing three runs on five hits with two strikeouts, while Bovenzi gave up two earned on five hits with two strikeouts.
The Blazers will look to return to the win column with a non-conference road trip to Westfield State Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Becker hosts Wentworth in non-conference action Monday at 4:00 p.m.