HOLYOKE, Mass. – Lesley University used a four-run seventh inning to stake a one-run advantage that they would not relinquish as the Lynx topped host Elms College 6-5 tonight in New England Collegiate Conference action.
With the win, Lesley takes the regular season series 2-1 over Elms and improves to an even 13-13 on the season and 6-5 in the conference standings. The Blazers slip to 24-8 overall and 7-5 in the NECC.
Trailing 5-2 after six, back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases for the visitors with no outs in the top of the seventh. Justin Clark (Chino Hills, Calif.) started the scoring in the inning as he singled to left to score J.P. Agiorgousis (Hanscom, Mass.) before Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) followed with an infield single that allowed Gustavo Polidor (Caracas, Venezuela) to scurry home and make it a one-run game. After an Elms pitching change, Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in the tying run while Ryan Pumphret (Shrewsbury, Mass.) drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run with a sacrifice-fly to centerfield.
With the lead in hand, the Lynx turned the ball to Nick Iadevaio (Mineola, N.Y.) who worked around a pair of Lesley errors in the bottom of the seventh and escaped a jam with a pair of Blazer runners in scoring position with a lineout to third base.
Elms would threaten again in the bottom of the eighth inning as Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) singled before Derron Simpson (Hempstead, N.Y.) entered as a pinch-runner and swiped second base to move into scoring position. Iadevaio again escaped unscathed as he sandwiched a walk with a pair of strikeouts to keep the one-run advantage intact.
After Elms reliever Brian Langdon (Beacon Falls, Conn.) stranded a Lesley runner on second base in the top of the ninth, the Blazers would try to mount a rally once again in the bottom half of the inning as the first two batters reached with a single and then an error. Iadevaio would not be rattled, however, and retired the next three in order to earn the first save of his career.
The red-hot Lynx offense finished with 12 hits on the night and has now registered 44 base-knocks and 33 runs in their last three games. Cervantes extended his hitting streak to seven games with a 1-for-4 performance while knocking in three runs in the victory – two of which came on an two-run single to open the scoring in the top of the first inning.
Clark finished 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI while Polidor also finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Slaby and Agiorgousis each added two hits and Pumphret registered his second straight three hit game, to go with a walk and an RBI.
Zima paced the Blazers attack finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI while Stephen Harrison (Southbury, Conn.) knocked in a pair of runs and score one while going 1-for-5 on the night.
Iadevaio struck out four and allowed just one hit over three innings of work for the Lynx while Jeff Heinz (Portsmouth, N.H.) earned the win as he relieved starter Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) to get the final two outs and stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth.
Lesley will return to the diamond on Thursday when they host Eastern Nazarene College at 7:00p in a non-conference duel at Trum Memorial Field. Elms will next play on Saturday as they will welcome Mitchell College in an NECC doubleheader at 1:00p.