HOLYOKE, Mass. – Brandon Bennett (Easthampton, Mass.) tossed a complete-game one-hitter on Sunday as the Elms College baseball team split a double-header against Albertus Magnus at Mackenzie Stadium.
Elms moves to 3-10 on the season while Albertus Magnus moves to 4-6 overall. The Blazers will be back in action on Wednesday, visiting Westfield State before hosting Lesley on March 29 in the first game of a three-game set. A double-header at Lesley on March 31 will cap the New England Collegiate Conference-opening series for the Blazers.
GAME 1 – Elms 3, Albertus Magnus 1
Bennett struck out seven Falcon batters and allowed just one hit and one earned run in the win for the Blazers. Meanwhile, the Blazers needed just three hits of their own to score three runs, more than enough offense to support Bennett. Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn.), Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) and Jaeden Rasmus (Bristol, Conn.) each picked up singles for the Blazers, and Thomas Slane (Tolland, Conn.) added two RBIs for Elms.
Albertus Magnus struck first, taking advantage of a sloppy start from Bennett. Tyriq Harris (Waterbury, Conn.) reached on a four-pitch walk to open the game and stole second. Harris then stole third after another walk, and was able to score on Matt Warren's (Wolcott, Conn.) fly ball to right field to put the Falcons ahead 1-0.
Elms tied the game in the bottom of the first after singles from Ross and Hoss and a stolen base left runners on the corners for Slane, who advanced the runners with a ground out.
The Blazers tacked on the winning runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, converting a single, walk, two stolen bases and two Falcon errors into a pair of runs.
Dan Zarnick pitched all six innings for Albertus Magnus and struck out six Blazer hitters while walking three and yielding two earned runs.
GAME 2 – Albertus Magnus 7, Elms 2
The Falcons jumped all over Elms starter Cody Fisher (South Windsor, Conn.) to open the second half of the double-header. The first three Albertus Magnus hitters reached base, picking up two singles and a walk, before Warren's base-clearing triple made it 3-0 in favor of the Falcons with nobody out in the top of the first. Mike Browne (New Fairfield, Conn.) made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly before Fisher rebounded to get out of the inning without any more damage.
The Blazer bats were equally as hot to lead off the first inning, as Ross, Hoss and Slane opened the bottom half of the frame with back-to-back-to-back doubles to cut the deficit to 4-2. AMC starter Daunte Brinkley (Hartford, Conn.) was able to retire the next three Elms batters to maintain the lead.
The Falcons added two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to cruise to the 7-2 win.
Brinkley allowed eight hits, including four doubles, but just two runs in the win. He walked one batter and did not record a strikeout. Fisher, meanwhile, finished with four strikeouts and three walks while allowing four runs, all earned, in five innings or work before giving way to Mikey Howe (South Windsor, Conn.). Howe gave up a two-run home run in the sixth, and Kyle Powell allowed one earned run in the seventh for the Blazers.