Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Elms College baseball team split a non-conference doubleheader against visiting Anna Maria College at MacKenzie Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Blazers fell in the opener, 7-1, but rallied to blank the AMCATS, 5-0, in the finale. Elms moves to 21-5 on the season, while Anna Maria sits at 3-16 overall.
With their win in the nightcap, the 2016 squad has set the program record for wins a season, surpassing the 20 win season the Blazers registered during the 2013 season.
Game 1: Anna Maria 7, Elms 1
The AMCATS wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as junior James Marcello (Mansfield, Mass.) knocked a leadoff single and then scored on an RBI single from senior Matthew Leahey (Rutland, Mass.) to give Anna Maria a 1-0 lead. With runners on first and third, sophomore Tanner Jakola (Leominster, Mass.) ripped a two-run double that hugged the left field line, scoring Leahey and sophomore Nate Gray (Kingston, N.Y.). Jakola came around to score on an RBI double from freshman Matt Elliot (Attleboro, Mass.) to hand Anna Maria a 4-0 lead.
The AMCATS pushed their lead to 5-0 in the top of the third as Elliot scored on an RBI groundout by sophomore Camden Brown (Gardner, Mass.).
In the bottom of the fifth, the Blazers cracked the scoreboard as freshman Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) plated sophomore Dan Brunetti (Enfield, Conn.) with an RBI single up the middle to trim the deficit to 5-1. The AMCATS responded in the top of the sixth behind an RBI single from Leahey to rebuild a 6-1 advantage.
Elms junior Cody Lemieux (2-2; Torrington, Conn.) started on the hill and was chased after giving up four runs on four hits in less than an inning of work. Junior Anthony Garde (Westfield, Mass.) and freshman Anthony Palumbo (Bedford, N.Y.) combined to allow three runs, two earned, in 6.2 innings of relief work.
Leahey led the AMCATS at the dish, going 4-for-4 with two RBIs, while Elliot went 3-for-4. Marcello and Camden Brown tallied two hits each. Jakola (1-2) earned the complete game victory, giving up one run and six hits with five strikeouts.
Game 2: Elms 5, Anna Maria 0
The Blazers attacked early in the nightcap, tacking three runs on the board in the first inning. With runners on second and third, junior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) knocked an RBI single to left field, plating Hoss, and then junior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.) scampered home after the ball went under the glove of AMCATs left fielder Shawn Callahan (Woburn, Mass.). Harrison came home on a sacrifice fly from junior Tim Gelzinis (N. Dighton, Mass.) to stake Elms to a 3-0 lead.
Elms increased their advantage to 4-0 in the sixth as Gelzinis laced an RBI double down the right field line, and then attempted to score on a single from sophomore Andy Vasquez (Queens, N.Y.), but Elliot cut him down at home on a throw from centerfield. Junior Brian Hungerford (New Preston, Conn.) added an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to secure the 5-0 win.
Harrison paced Elms at the dish, going 3-for-3 with an RBI while scoring twice. Brunetti added a pair of hits, while Gelzinis drove in a two runs. Freshman Tom Owens (4-0; Enfield, Conn.) picked up the win in five scoreless innings of work, allowing just two hits with three strikeouts. Seniors Kyle Bartlett (Huntington, Mass.) and Brian Langdon (Beacon Falls, Conn.) dealt scoreless frames in relief.
Heaney (0-4) took the loss for the AMCATS, allowing four runs, two earned, on eight hits with two strikeouts in five innings pitched.
The Blazers will return to action with a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader against Lesley University at the New England Baseball Complex Wednesday afternoon. First pitch of game one is set for 6:30 p.m. Anna Maria travels to Fitchburg State Monday for a 3:00 p.m. contest.