NORTHBOROUGH, Mass – Friday night, the AMCATS hosted the Elms College Blazers at New England Baseball Complex. The 'Cats, coming off of losses to Eastern Nazarene in a double header last Saturday, sent Colin Pipkin and Liam Cunningham to the mound Friday to attempt to get back in the win column. By the end of the night, the teams split the game, 3-2 in favor of the AMCATS in game one, and 5-2 in favor of the Blazers in game two.
Reigning GNAC Player of the week and AMCATS leadoff hitter Adam Twitchell went three-for-three in the game with a double and an RBI as well as a run scored. He then came in from centerfield to pitch 1.2 innings and pick up his first save of the season. Though the 'Cats won game one, they only had four hits with the other coming from catcher Greg Gehring. Scoring the runs for Anna Maria, along with Twitchell, left fielder Noah Holland and short stop Jake Crevier. Starting pitcher Colin Pipkin went 5.1 innings in the game. While his first two innings were rough he ended his outing allowing just four hits and two runs while striking out four Blazers hitters.
Elms put six hits on the board in game one, led by Thomas Slane who recorded two of those hits. The Blazers only extra base hit in the game was a double by catcher Nathan Ayala who also had one of the two Elms RBI, the other coming off the bat of Jaeden Rasmus. Starting pitcher Thomas Owens received the loss in the game but pitched a complete game, giving up four hits, three runs, only two earned, and struck out three AMCAT hitters.
Anna Maria wasted no time getting on the board in the bottom of the first. After Twitchell doubled he moved to third on a deep fly out by Jason Shell and subsequently scored on an Owens wild pitch.
The 'Cats added to their 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an error by the second baseman, who miss played a ball allowing Holland to score from third on the play.
The third and fourth innings were slow offensively for both teams as the pitching settled in on both sides. But, in the bottom of the fifth, AMC plated another run with Crevier scoring on a Twitchell single.
Anna Maria was able to keep Elms off the board for the first five innings, despite two long innings in the first and second. In the sixth the Blazers broke through grabbing two runs on the Ayala double, scoring Slane. Ayala would later score the second run on a Rasmus single.
With the momentum in their favor, Elms retired the AMCATS in order in the bottom of the 6th. In the top of the seventh, Twitchell sat down the first two Elms hitters by way of strike out. Down to their final out, the Blazers worked a walk, got a single from Slane, and a walk by Ayala to load the bases. On a three-two count Josh Pasini flied out to left to end the game, 3-2, giving the AMCATS their fifth win of the season.
The AMCAT offense sprung for nine hits in game two, led by Mike Tourony who posted three of those hits, two of them doubles, with one RBI and a run scored. Catcher Noah Holland had two hits, a single and a double, in the game with an RBI and a run scored. The third AMC RBI came from Jack Marzec in a one-for-three performance. Jason Shell had the fourth extra base hit in the game for Anna Maria in the form of a double in a one-for-four performance. Starting pitcher Liam Cunningham threw 4.1 innings allowing six hits, five runs, three of them earned, in a losing effort. In Relief, Dan Chambers pitched 2.2 innings, gave up just one hit and struck out two hitters.
Elms couldn't out hit the AMCATS in game two with seven hits to AMC's nine. Center fielder Alex Hoss had three hits, including a triple, and scored two runs. Short stop Ben Ross was two-for-four in the game, both hits were singles, and he scored one of the five Blazer runs. Thomas Slane drove in two runs for Elms in a one-for-four showing, including a two-bagger. Starting pitcher Matt Plasse three six innings allowing six hits, two runs and struck out eight Anna Maria hitters while earning the victory. Kyle Powell came in in relief of Plasse in the seventh and while he allowed three hits and a run, he earned the save.
Elms struck first in the game getting three runs in the top of the first to set the tone for the game. Ross scored on a Slane ground out to second. Josh Berthiaume and Hoss scored an error by Shell in right field on a ball he misplayed off the bat of Josh Pasini.
With a 3-0 lead going in to the fourth, Jaeden Rasmus doubled to left center with Kevin Banas on first following a walk, Banas scored on the play to extend the Elms advantage out to four runs. In the bottom of the fourth, Anna Maria would answer and cut the lead in half after a Holland double scored Tourony and a Marzec single scored Holland.
Elms would grab one of the runs back in the fifth when Hoss scored on a Slane double. The Blazers would take that 5-2 lead in to the bottom of the seventh and were three outs from just their second win of the season.
In the seventh, sophomore Phil Antonucci led off the inning with a pinch hit single to left center. After a Twitchell fly out, Shell doubled down the right field line getting two runners in to scoring position with just one out. Power hitter Justin Robbins hit a slow roller to third and Antonucci who was off on contact was caught at home plate which put the AMCATS down to their last out with the tying run at the plate in the form of Mike Tourony. Tourony delivers with a double to left center, scoring Shell and advancing Robbins to third. Now, with the tying run on second and the winning run at the plate, Crevier hit a line drive right at the first baseman to end the game. Elms had their second win of the year, 5-3 over the AMCATS, splitting the Friday night double header.
The AMCATS will be back on the field Saturday night, March 24th at 7:30pm taking on Pine Manor at NEBC in Northborough.