HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Elms College baseball team swept visiting Daniel Webster College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader at MacKenzie Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Blazers (15-18, 10-6 NECC) delivered a 10-7 comeback victory in the opener, and then held on for a 7-4 win over the Eagles (5-19, 2-11 NECC) in the finale.
The Eagles led off the contest with back-to-back singles from sophomore Dan Mullins (Nashua, N.H.) and junior Mike Pelletier (Pelham, N.H.), and then Mullins came around to score on a one-out RBI single from sophomore Matt Alberino (Medford, Mass.) to hand Daniel Webster a 1-0 lead. The Eagles pushed the lead to 2-0 in the second on an RBI double from junior Mike Pelletier (Pelham, N.H.).
The Blazers cut into the deficit in the home half of the third as senior Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) brought home junior Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn.) with an RBI single to left field. The Eagles rebuild their advantage in the top of the fourth as senior Mike Gamache (Manchester, N.H.) lifted an RBI sac fly, followed by a two-run triple from Mullins to create a 5-1 lead for Daniel Webster.
Elms kicked off their rally in the bottom of the fourth as seniors Brian Hungerford (New Preston, Conn.) and Dan Brunetti (Enfield, Conn.) drew leadoff walks, and then scored when sophomore Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn.) laced a two-run triple to right field, trimming the gap to 5-3. Ross followed with a RBI groundout to score Hoss, and then senior Kyle Platner (Northfield, Mass.) ripped a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield to even the score at 5-5.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Elms senior Tim Gelzinis (North Dighton, Mass.) launched a three-run home run into the left field bullpen to give the Blazers an 8-5 lead. After Hungerford walked and Brunetti singled, Hoss laced another two-run triple to right field, pushing Elms to a 10-5 lead.
Four Blazers recorded multi-hit games, led by Hoss who drove in a career-high four runs and scored. Gelzinis plated three runs and scored, while Platner went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Brunetti had two hits and scored twice, and senior Aedin Wadja (Lebanon, Conn.) went 2-of-4 out of the leadoff spot. Freshman Kevin Banas (1-0; Hatfield, Mass.) recorded his first collegiate win in relief, allowing one hit with two strikeouts in an inning of work.
Mullins led the Eagles at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Pelletier drove in a run on two hits, while Acosta tallied two hits and scored. Junior Kyle Hodgdon (Cheshire, Conn.) took the loss in relief, giving up four runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning pitched.
Game 2: Elms 7, Daniel Webster 4
The Blazers led throughout the nightcap, securing a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. After being hit by a pitch to leadoff the game, Wadja touched home on a wild pitch from Gamache. Hungerford drew a bases loaded RBI walk, and then Brunetti knocked an RBI fielder's choice to build the early lead.
In the second inning, Zima and Platner lifted sacrifice flies to create a 5-0 lead, followed by senior Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) scoring for first base on an RBI single from Gelzinis. The Blazers plated their final run of the game as senior Scott Labrie (Southampton, Mass.) notched his first career RBI with a single into left field to push Elms ahead 7-0.
Elms freshman starter Jacob Graveline (Palmer, Mass.) held the Eagles to just two hits across six scoreless innings, but Daniel Webster tagged Graveline for four runs in the top of the seventh. DWC senior Dakota Williams (Hudson, N.H.) knocked a leadoff double, and the scored on an RBI single from junior Dylan McDonough (Billerica, Mass.). Freshman Matt Daulton (West Babylon, N.Y.) brought home McDonough with an RBI single through the left side. Sophomore Rodolfo Acosta (Nashua, N.H.) hit an RBI single into the hole at second base, followed by an RBI single for Mullins to whittle the deficit to 7-4. With the bases loaded, Gelzinis enter in relief and struck out Williams to lock up the 7-4 victory.
The Blazers knocked 11 hits in the win, paced by a 3-for-4 game from Harrison. Wadja went 2-for-2 and scored three times as the leadoff hitter, while Gelzinis and Hoss added two hits apiece. Graveline (4-3) surrendered four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts, and Gelzinis posted his sixth save of the season, matching former Blazer Brian Langdon for most saves in a season, and moved into second all-time on the career saves list.
Prior to the game, Elms honored their 12 departing seniors: Zima, Hungerford, Brunetti, Platner, Gelzinis, Wadja, Harrison, Labrie, Anthony Garde (Westfield, Mass.), Joe Tonon (Bristol, Conn.), Cody Lemieux (Torrington, Conn.), and Jeff Hockenberry (Westfield, Mass.).
The Blazers and Eagles will return to the diamond for the series finale at Eagle Field Sunday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m.