NEW LONDON, Conn. – Elms College overcame a 2-0 deficit with three runs in the eighth inning and held on for the 3-2 victory as the Blazers ousted Lesley University from the New England College Conference Baseball Championship this afternoon at Alumni Field on the campus of host Mitchell College.
The Lynx pushed across a pair of runs to break up a scoreless tie in the sixth inning to stake a 2-0 lead before the Blazers put together the winning rally in the eighth.
Elms senior Andrew Sadwoski (Northampton, Mass.) went the distance in the victory, working around ten hits and allowing just two runs (both unearned) while striking out four.
Sophomore starter Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) nearly matched Sadowski's effort but suffered the loss. The right-hander tossed 7.1 innings, yielding four hits, four walks, and striking out three. Classmate Nick Iadevaio (Mineola, N.Y.) came in relief and pitched the final 1.2, allowing only one hit and striking out a pair.
Both starters kept the opposing lineups off-balance as the teams combined for just five hits over the opening five innings. The Blazers put together a threat in the top of the sixth inning, collecting a pair of singles and taking advantage of a Lynx error to load the bases with two outs. Muratore would escape the threat and leave the Blazers offense without any runs and forced a pop-up to the short stop to end the inning.
The Lynx bats would finally breakthrough in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) led off the inning with a single down the right field line and moved to third when classmate Daniel O'Donnell Jr. (Clark, N.J.) reached on a ball dropped by the Elms right fielder. Fellow first year Vincent Taliercio (Valley Stream, N.Y.) would then bring home the first run of the game as he smacked a single through the hole in the left side that plated Cervantes. After an error loaded the bases, Sadowski got the first out of the inning with a strikeout before forcing a ground ball to cut down run O'Donnell at the plate for the second out.
With the bases loaded and two down, junior J.P. Agiorgousis (Hanscom, Mass.) came through with a clutch single to left that allowed Taliercio to score. Lesley nearly added a second run on the play, but Polidor was gunned down at third before Ferragine was able to cross the plate, leaving the advantage to 2-0.
A pair of walks and a wild pitch gave the Blazers a pair of runners in scoring position with one out in the eighth before junior Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn.) made the miscues hurt with a two-run double to center, evening the game at 2-2. After a pitching change, fellow junior Tim Gelzinis (North Dighton, Mass.) reached with a single through the left side before a walk loaded the bases with two out. Freshman Josh Berthiaume (Pittsfield, Mass.) walked to the plate as a pinch-hitter and the lefty worked a bases-loaded walk for what turned out to be the game-winning run.
The Lynx continued to battle in the bottom half of the inning and used a pair of singles to put runners on first and second with two outs, but Sadowski got a strikeout to end the threat and keep a one-run lead and would retire the Lynx in order in the ninth to notch his seventh victory of the season.
Agiorgousis paced the Lynx offense going 2-for-5 with an RBI while junior Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) also picked up a pair of hits. Zima and Gelzinis each added two hits for the Blazers.
The Blazers will continue Tournament play this afternoon and play the winner of third-seeded Southern Vermont College and top-seeded Mitchell College.
The Lynx will return to regular season play next Sunday with a non-conference doubleheader at NCAA Division I Holy Cross.