Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Elms College baseball team split a pair of games with visiting Lesley University during a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader at MacKenzie Stadium Wednesday night. The Blazers (9-17, 5-6 NECC) shutout the Lynx, 2-0, in the opener, while Lesley (15-11, 6-4 NECC) posted a 4-2 victory in the nightcap.
Game 1: Elms 2, Lesley 0
The opener proved to be a pitching duel between Elms freshman Jacob Graveline (Palmer, Mass.) and Lesley junior Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) as the hurlers combined to allow just five hits in the game. Dealing with light rain in the early innings, Graveline worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the second, firing back-to-back strikeouts to preserve the scoreless contest.
After four scoreless innings, the difference maker for Elms came as senior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) smacked a two-run home run over the right field fence to stake the Blazers to a 2-0 lead.
Graveline held the Lynx hitless in the sixth, and senior Tim Gelzinis (North Dighton, Mass.) retired Lesley 1-2-3 in the seventh for his fourth save of the season as Elms locked up the 2-0 victory.
Graveline (3-3) limited the Lynx to two hits in six scoreless innings with a season-high seven strikeouts. Muratore (5-2) allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeouts in six innings of work.
Game 2: Lesley 4, Elms 2
The Lynx grabbed the lead in the top of the first inning with freshman Steven DePalma (Albertson, N.Y.) reached on an error, and then came around to score on an RBI single from junior J.P. Agiorgousis (Hanscom AFB, Mass.) to hand Lesley a 1-0 lead.
With runners on the corners, the Lynx added to their advantage in the following inning as senior Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) and freshman Brendan Fairchild (Temecula, Calif.) executed a double steal to bring Fairchild home, extending the Lesley lead to 2-0.
With two outs in the top of the third, Agiorgousis reached on an error, stole second and then scored on an RBI single from sophomore Vincent Taliercio (Valley Stream, N.Y.), followed by an RBI double from Fairchild to plate Taliercio and push the Lesley lead to 4-0.
The Blazers cut into the deficit in the bottom of the fourth as a double from Gelzinis and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with one out. Sophomore Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) brought home the first run after being hit by a pitch, and then junior Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn.) knocked an RBI fielder's choice to help Elms close the gap to 4-2.
Elms freshman starter Kevin Banas (0-2; Hatfield, Mass.) surrendered four runs, one earned, on five hits with a strikeout. Senior Anthony Garde (Westfield, Mass.) and freshman Jaeden Rasmus (Bristol, Conn.) and Jamie Ryan (Easthampton, Mass.) delivered scoreless innings in relief.
Pumphret went 2-for-4 at the dish, while Agiorgousis, Taliercio, and Fairchild each drove in a run and scored. Lesley junior Nick Iadevaio (3-3; Mineola, N.Y.) allowed two runs on four hits with two strikeouts in a complete game effort.
The Blazers return to action when they travel to Southern Vermont College for an NECC twinbill Saturday at Noon. Lesley hosts Eastern Nazarene in non-conference play Thursday at 7:00 p.m.