Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Elms College baseball squad fell in a pair of non-conference games to Baldwin Wallace in the opening day of action at the 2017 Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic. The Yellowjackets defeated the Blazers 7-3 in the opener, and then captured a 6-3 victory in the nightcap. The Blazers slide to 0-3 on the season, while Baldwin Wallace improves to 7-0 overall.
Game 1: Baldwin Wallace 7, Elms 3 (Final)
After a pair of scoreless innings opened play, the Yellowjackets struck first in the top of the third as sophomore Reese Albright (North Royalton, Ohio) delivered a one-out single, advanced to third on a double steal, and then scored on an RBI single from junior Spencer Badia (Bellaire, Ohio) to stake Baldwin Wallace to a 1-0 lead. The Jackets added to their advantage in the top of the fourth behind an RBI double from senior Steven Montgomery (Canton, Ohio).
Leading 2-0 in the top of the seventh, Baldwin Wallace plated five runs in the frame, ignited by a one-out RBI double from Badia. Badia came around to score on an RBI single from sophomore Philip Wells (Buffalo, N.Y.), followed by a two-run single from junior Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City, Ohio) to extend the gap to 6-0. Baldwin Wallace senior Kevin Hagen (Brecksville, Ohio) lifted a sacrifice fly to plate the final run of the inning.
The Blazers whittled away at the deficit in the bottom of the seventh with senior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.) scoring a pair of runs of a fielder's choice, and then classmate Kyle Platner (Northfield, Mass.) ripping an RBI single up the middle to set the score at 7-3.
Platner delivered a pair of hits in the game, while Wadja drove in a pair of runs. Elms sophomore Thomas Owens (0-1, Enfield, Conn.) took the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits with two strikeouts.
Badia and senior Cole Nieto (Brunswick, Ohio) led the Yellowjackets at the dish with two hits apiece, while Badia and Kaltenbach knocked in two runs each. Baldwin Wallace junior Evan Lovick (2-0; Mentor, Ohio) earned the win, tossing five scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
Game 2: Baldwin Wallace 6, Elms 3 (Final)
After three scoreless innings, Baldwin Wallace cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth as Badia crossed home on a sac fly from senior Alex Marcum (Granville, Ohio) to hand the Yellowjackets a 1-0 lead. The Blazers responded in the top of the sixth with Platner and senior Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) reaching base, and then scoring on a two-run double from senior Tim Gelzinis (North Dighton, Mass.) to put Elms on top 2-1. Gelzinis touched home on an RBI double from classmate Dan Brunetti (Enfield, Conn.) to push the advantage to 3-1.
Another big inning proved to be key for Baldwin Wallace as the Yellowjackets plated five runs in the bottom of the sixth. Marcum knocked a bases loaded RBI single through the right side of the infield, followed by an RBI single from Kaltenbach. Tied at 3-3 with one out, Baldwin Wallace hammered out three straight RBI singles from Montgomery, Albright and freshman Jacob Bonner (Akron, Ohio) to expand the gap to 6-3. The Blazers threatened in the top of the seventh, putting runs in scoring position, but they were stranded, resulting in the 6-3 loss.
Platner went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Gelzinis drove in a pair and scored on the day. Freshman Jacob Graveline (0-1; Palmer, Mass.) made his collegiate debut for the Blazers, allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits with three strikeouts.
Montgomery, Marcum, Nieto and Badia each added two hits in the win, while Marcum knocked in a pair of runs and Badia scored twice. Sophomore Jack Raines (1-0; Uniontown, Ohio) claimed the win in relief of senior Logan Heffernan (Lebanon, Ohio), scattering two hits in 1.2 innings of work, while Heffernan gave up three runs on four hits with a game-high six strikeouts.
The Blazers will be back on the diamond Sunday morning with a doubleheader against Alvernia University at the Player Development Complex. First pitch of game one is slated for 9:00 a.m.