NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Elms College baseball team split a double-header against Anna Maria on Friday evening. The Blazers nearly completed a comeback before falling 3-2 in game one, then picked up a 5-3 win in game two.
GAME 1 – Anna Maria 3, Elms 2
The Blazer Nos. 4-7 hitters went a combined 5-for-12 at the plate but the rest of the lineup managed just one hit in a 3-2 loss to open play against Anna Maria.
Anna Maria scored one run in the first, second, and fifth innings to pull ahead 3-0 in the game. Elms closed the gap with two runs in the top of the sixth on an RBI double from Nathan Ayala and an RBI single from Jaeden Rasmus.
With two outs in the seventh inning, the Blazers threatened to extend the game when Kevin Banas walked, Thomas Slane singled, and Ayala walked to load the bases and leave the game-tying run just 90 feet from home plate. But the Blazers left the bases loaded when Josh Pasini flied out to right field to end the game.
Slane went 2-for-4 and Ayala went 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks to lead the Blazers. Thomas Owens pitched six innings, allowing just two earned runs while striking out three Anna Maria hitters.
GAME 2 – Elms 5, Anna Maria 3
Elms was aggressive on the base paths early in game two and it paid off. Ben Ross and Alex Hoss each singled, stole second, and eventually scored in the top of the first inning to help the Blazers build an early 3-0 lead.
An RBI double from Rasmus in the top of the fourth inning made it 4-0 in favor of the Blazers before Anna Maria battled back. The 'Cats cut the deficit in half with two runs in the bottom of the fourth after two doubles and a single.
Elms, however, answered in the top of the fifth as Hoss led off the frame with a triple and Slane followed with an RBI double to make it 5-2.
After two doubles in the bottom of the seventh, Anna Maria trailed 5-3 and had the tying run on second base before Kyle Powell was able to get out of the jam for the save, giving the Blazers the split for the day.
Slane went 1-for-4 with two RBIs in the game and Hoss went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored twice. Ross went 2-for-4 from the lead-off position for the Blazers.
Matt Plasse tossed six impressive innings in the win. He struck out eight batters and gave up just one walk and two earned runs on six hits. Powell faced all six Anna Maria batters in the bottom of the seventh for the first save by an Elms pitcher this season.
Elms will host Albertus Magnus in a double-header on March 25 in the Blazers' 2018 home-opener. First pitch on Sunday is set for 1:00 p.m.