Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Elms College baseball team fell to Anna Maria College, 11-10, in a non-conference game at the New England Baseball Complex Friday afternoon. The Blazers slide to 3-8 overall, while Anna Maria rises to 7-10 on the season.
The AMCATS dented the scoreboard in the first inning, plating four runs in the frame. Anna Maria freshman Dylan Carissimo (Tampa, Fla.) lifted an RBI sac fly to centerfield, followed by an RBI double down the left field line from sophomore Connor Lavin (Leicester, Mass.) to stake the AMCATS to a 2-0 lead. Anna Maria freshman Phillip Antonucci IV (Revere, Mass.) drove in a pair of runs with an RBI single to left field, pushing the AMCATS to a 4-0 advantage.
The Blazers responded in the bottom of the first as seniors Tim Gelzinis (North Dighton, Mass.) and Dan Brunetti (Enfield, Conn.) drew RBI bases loaded walks to cut the deficit in half, 4-2. Elms continued to chip away at the gap with an RBI single from senior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.) in the third inning to make it 4-3. The Blazers grabbed their first lead of the contest in the bottom of the fourth inning as senior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) ripped a two-run double into left-centerfield, pushing Elms ahead 5-4.
Anna Maria regained the lead in the top of the fifth, as a sacrifice fly from senior Jonathan Roy (Worcester, Mass.) knotted the game at 5-5, followed by a solo home run from junior Nate Gray (Kingston, N.Y.) over the left field fence, putting the AMCATS on top, 6-5.
Elms answered in the bottom of the sixth behind an RBI single from Harrison to tie things at 6-6, and then senior Kyle Platner (Northfield, Mass.) came around to score on an AMCATS fielding error to rebuild a 7-6 advantage.
Following a minor snow delay, the sides traded the lead again in the top of the seventh as Anna Maria plated four runs in the inning. Carissimo delivered an RBI groundout, and then junior Tanner Jakola (Leominster, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch to harness an 8-7 lead for the AMCATS. Lavin touched home on another wild pitch, followed by Lavin scoring on a double steal to extend the Anna Maria advantage to 10-7.
The Blazers pulled even in the bottom of the inning as Platner laced a two-run double to left field, followed by an RBI groundout from senior Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) to knot the score at 10-10. The AMCATS brought home the game-winning run in the top of the eighth as Jakola touched home on an RBI single up the middle from Carissimo to send Anna Maria to the 11-10 win.
Platner and Harrison led the Blazers at the dish, knocking three hits apiece. Harrison drove in three runs and scored once, while Platner plated two runs and crossed home three times. Elms senior Cody Lemieux (Torrington, Conn.) took a no-decision in his third start of the season, allowing six runs, three earned, on eight hits with a strikeout.
Jakola went 4-for-4 at the plate for Anna Maria, and scored all four times he reached base. Carissimo knocked in three runs, while Lavin and sophomore Trevor Brown (Gardner, Mass.) added two hits in the win. AMCATS junior Zach Parker (1-0; Manchester, N.H.) earned the win in relief, holding the Blazers to three hits with two strikeouts in three scoreless innings of work.
The Blazers will be back on the diamond when they open their New England Collegiate Conference season with a doubleheader against Becker College Sunday at Trinity College. First pitch of game one is slated for 10:00 a.m. Anna Maria travels to Clark for a non-conference twinbill Sunday at Noon.