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Western New England College stays alive in TCCC Tournament with win over Eastern Nazarene

Western New England College stays alive in TCCC Tournament with win over Eastern Nazarene
Box Score

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -  Freshman second baseman Mike Rubino (Northford, CT) had four hits and senior pitcher Matt Rogers (Portsmouth, RI) picked-up his eighth win of the season as the Western New England College baseball team stayed alive in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) Tournament with an 8-4 victory over Eastern Nazarene Wednesday afternoon (Apr. 28).

Under windy conditions at Trelease Park, the second-seeded Golden Bears improved their record to 29-9. The sixth-seeded Lions (who lost to third-seeded Endicott 6-2 on Tuesday) end their season with a 16-22 record.

WNEC started strong with single runs in the first and second innings before adding two more runs in the third. Junior catcher Jason Leclerc (Chicopee, MA) led off with a triple and scored on a double to junior left fielder Andrew Fatse (Hampden, MA). Rubino then singled with one-out to make the score 4-0.

The Golden Bears extended their lead to 7-0 by scoring three times in the fifth with RBI singles by freshman shortstop Kyle McKelvey (Schenectady, NY) and senior second baseman Justin Walz (Groton, CT) the big hits.

Fatse finished with three hits and scored three runs while Walz also collected three hits. Both players also walked as did McKelvey who contributed two hits in only his second start of the season.

Rogers, meanwhile, went six-and-two third innings giving only 10 hits with two earned runs. He walked one and struck out three to improve to 8-1 this spring.

Eastern Nazarene tallied its first run in the sixth on a two-out homer to center by senior designated hitter Nate Leaser (Solano Beach, CA). 

The Lions made things interesting by scoring three runs in the seventh to cut the lead to four on a sacrifice fly by junior center fielder Victor Torres (Bronx, NY) and two-run double by junior first baseman Luke Matthews (Boise, ID). The visitors had runners on second and third when sophomore Rob Neagle (Branford, CT) replaced Rogers and struck out Leaser to end the inning.

Freshman pitcher Kevin Jefferis (Cheshire, CT) pitched the final two innings allowing just a hit and walk while striking out four in his third relief appearance of the season.

Eastern Nazarene freshman shortstop Joel Torres (Bronx, NY) had three of the team's 11 hits while Matthews and Leaser each finished with two hits. Junior pitcher Justin Denbow (Readfield, ME) (2-4) took the loss.

Western New England College will host either third-seeded Endicott or seventh-seeded Anna Maria at 3:00 p.m. Friday (Apr. 30). Those teams will meet Thursday (Apr. 29) after having their game postponed because of rain this afternoon.