Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Elms College rallied to a 7-4 victory over visiting Newbury College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) contest at MacKenzie Stadium Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Blazers improve to 6-11 overall, and 2-3 in the NECC, while Newbury drops to 6-6 in league play, and 16-12 on the season.
The Nighthawks jumped on the Blazers early as junior Justin Banks (Corona, Calif.) lined a leadoff single to left field, and then came around to score on an RBI double to the right field gap from sophomore David Center (Medford, Mass.) to hand Newbury the 1-0 lead.
The Blazers responded in the bottom of the frame with senior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) ripping a two-out double to left field, followed by an RBI single from senior Kyle Platner (Northfield, Mass.) to bring home Harrison and even the score at 1-1.
After four scoreless innings, the Nighthawks regained the lead in the top of the sixth as junior Matthew Peluso (Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada) knocked a leadoff single, advanced on a wild pitch, and then scored on an RBI double from senior Ian Hruniak (Lutz, Fla.) to hand Newbury a 2-1 lead.
Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, the Blazers moved back into the driver's seat with a three-run inning, ignited by back-to-back singles from sophomore Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) and junior Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn.). Senior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.) laced an RBI single to left field, bringing home Hoss to tie the game at 2-2. Elms grabbed the lead as senior Tim Gelzinis (North Dighton, Mass.) smacked a two-run single through the right side of the infield, plating Wadja and Ross to put the Blazers on top 4-2.
Elms sophomore Matt Plasse (Westfield, Mass.) retired the Nighthawks 1-2-3 in the eighth, and Gelzinis notched his second save of the season with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning to lock up the 4-2 victory.
Gelzinis drove in a pair of runs on a 2-for-4 day, while Wadja knocked in a run and scored. Hoss tallied a pair of hits and scored, and Platner added an RBI in the win. Plasse (2-1) collected the win, holding Newbury to two hits on seven hits with five strikeouts in eight innings of work.
Center led the Nighthawks at the dish, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Senior Tim Brown (0-5; Orange, Conn.) was saddled with the loss, surrendering four runs on nine hits with two strikeouts.
The Blazers will be back on the diamond when they host Mitchell College in an NECC clash at MacKenzie Stadium Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Newbury travels to Eastern Nazarene for a non-conference game at 3:30 p.m.