Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Elms College baseball team wrapped up their 2016 regular season with a 4-3 victory over host Southern Vermont College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) game at Bill Epstein Field Sunday afternoon. The Blazers improve to 30-10 on the season, and 12-6 in conference play, while the Mountaineers drop to 10-7 in the NECC and 18-17 overall.
The Blazers jumped on the Mountaineers early, opening the game with back-to-back singles from freshman Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) and junior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.). Hoss raced home after an errant throw from SVC freshman catcher Dan Mason (Bloomingdale, N.J.) sailed into the outfield on a steal by Wadja, staking Elms to a 1-0 lead. Junior Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) plated Wadja on an RBI single through the right side of the infield, making it 2-0. With runners on first and third, the Blazers executed a double steal with junior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) crossing home to push the Elms lead to 3-0.
Southern Vermont chipped into the lead as freshman Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) laced a leadoff double down the left field line, and then came around to score on an RBI single by Mason, to trim the Blazers lead to 3-1. The Mountaineers pulled even in the bottom of the second with junior Anthony Mercuri (Ridge, N.Y.) scoring on a balk, followed by an RBI single from sophomore Niko D'Agnese (Mahopac, N.Y.) to knot the game at 3-3.
In the top of the fourth, Elms plated the game-winning run as senior R.J. Lyrenmann (Glendale, Ariz.) moved runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt, followed by an RBI sacrifice fly from Hoss to score senior Nolan Medeiros (Taunton, Mass.) from third to give the Blazers a 4-3 advantage.
Elms freshman Tom Owens (Enfield, Conn.) relieved junior starter Cody Lemieux (Torrington, Conn.) in the fourth and held the Mountaineers to just one hit over the final six frames to secure the Blazers 4-3 win.
Wadja went 2-for-5 at the dish with a run scored, while Hoss was 1-for-4, scored once and drove in a run. Lemieux gave up three runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts, while Owens
(6-1) registered the win, fanning five batters in six innings of work.
Senior R.J. Pingitore (Perth, N.Y.) paced the Mountaineers with a 2-for-4 day, while Mason and D'Agnese each drove in a run. Junior Dylan Angelo (6-2; Ft. Johnson, N.Y.) took the loss, surrendering four runs, three earned, on five hits with three strikeouts in five innings.
The Blazers have closed the regular season and will await their seeding for the NECC Championship tournament Tuesday night. Southern Vermont travels to Newbury for their NECC finale Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.