Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Elms College baseball team slugged to a 9-3 non-conference win over the visiting MCLA Trailblazers at MacKenzie Stadium Thursday night. With the win, the Blazers improve to 13-18 on the season, while the Trailblazers dropped to 12-14 overall.
In the top of the third, Elms junior Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn.) smacked a leadoff double to right field, followed by back-to-back, one-out walks to senior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) and sophomore Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) to load the bases. Senior Kyle Platner (Northfield, Mass.) clubbed a two-run double into the right-centerfield gap to stake the Blazers to a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded, senior Brian Hungerford (New Preston, Conn.) drew an RBI walk, and then classmate Dan Brunetti (Enfield, Conn.) laced a two-run single to centerfield to extend the Elms advantage to 5-0.
During the home half of the fourth inning, Platner struck again, ripping an RBI double of the centerfield fence to score Hoss and build a 6-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, Platner drove in his fourth run of the game with an RBI double down the left field line to create a 7-0 cushion. Hungerford added an RBI fielder's choice, followed by an RBI single from Brunetti to push the gap to 9-0 after four innings.
The Trailblazers cracked the scoreboard in the top of the seventh with three runs in the frame. Freshman Darien Luckett (Charlotte, N.C.) drove an RBI single through the left side of the infield, and then classmate Ben Durland (Paxton, Mass.) delivered an RBI groundout. MCLA capped off the surge with a sacrifice fly from freshman Christian Seariac (Framingham, Mass.) to trim the deficit to 9-3.
Platner powered the Blazers, driving in a season-high four runs on a season-high three doubles, matching a program-high for doubles in a game. Hoss touched home three time, while Platner and Harrison scored twice. Brunetti drove in three runs, and Hungerford knocked in a pair of runs in the win. Elms senior Cody Lemieux (2-2; Torrington, Conn.) claimed the victory on the hill, scattering three runs, one earned, on four hits with four strikeouts in seven innings of work. Freshman Jaeden Rasmus (Bristol, Conn.) and Jamie Ryan (Easthampton, Mass.) logged scoreless innings in relief.
Toledo went 2-for-4 and scored for the Trailblazers. Junior Joe Murray (0-3; Cairo, N.Y.) took the loss, allowing five runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
The Blazers will return to the diamond for their home finale against Daniel Webster for a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Elms will hold their Senior Day festivities prior to the contest. MCLA hosts Worcester State in a MASCAC twinbill Saturday at 1:00 p.m.