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Brendan Nugent pitches WNE past Keene State 7-1 in NCAA Division III Regional

Brendan Nugent pitches WNE past Keene State 7-1 in NCAA Division III Regional
Box Score

NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship

NCAA Digital Baseball Program

MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore pitcher Brendan Nugent (Milford, CT) didn't want a line drive off his leg to keep him out of the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.

The 6’3”, 200-lb. right-hander tossed a five-hitter as fifth-seeded Western New England downed fourth-seeded Keene State 7-1 Wednesday (May 16) in the opening game of the New England Regional at Eastern Stadium.

The Golden Bears (34-11) will meet Wheaton (35-8) at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday (May 17) in a winner’s bracket game of the double elimination tournament. The top-seeded Lyons defeated eighth-seeded Bridgewater State 6-2 in the second game of the day.

Nugent walked two and struck out five in raising his record to 9-1 with his second complete game of the season.

Junior second baseman Tim Clark (West Springfield, MA) had two hits, including the 100th of his career, while sophomore first baseman Steve Ambrosino (Laurel Hollow, NY) also contributed a pair of hits. Both players scored a run and had a RBI.

Western New England, ranked 21st nationally, took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run double by junior shortstop Kyle McKelvey (Schenectady, NY) and single by Ambrosino.

With one out in the bottom of the second, senior first baseman Larry Longo (Londonderry, NH) slammed a shot off Nugent who threw the runner out. After a few minutes Nugent stayed in the game and went on to post the biggest victory of his young career.

The Golden Bears added a run in the third when Clark collected his milestone hit that scored junior right fielder Matt Anthonis (Guilford, CT) who led-off with a single and stole second.

Western New England took a 7-0 lead with three runs in the fourth when sophomore center fielder Jeff Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) knocked in two runs with a double and junior third baseman Mike Rubino (Northford, CT) delivered his eighth sacrifice fly of the year.

The Owls scored their only run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Longo before Nugent struck out freshman left fielder Ian Seawards (Dover, NH) with the bases loaded to end the inning. Anthonis made a nice diving catch on Longo’s fly that kept the damage to a minimum.

Nugent again came through in the clutch by getting out of a bases loaded jam with two strikeouts in the seventh. He retired the last eight batters of the game.

Schult stole his 30th base of the season (in 31 attempts) in the sixth inning.

Freshman shortstop Tanner Chase (York, ME) had two hits for Keene State.

Senior Jeff Pelkey (Fitzwilliam, NH) (6-3) lasted only three innings allowing 10 hits with no walks and a strikeout. Senior Nick Winn (West Hartford, CT) was outstanding in relief pitching six innings and giving up no hits while walking one with six strikeouts.

The Owls (31-14) will play Bridgewater State (30-14) in an elimination game starting at 10:00 a.m. Thursday (May 17).

Contact: Ken Cerino, Western New England athletic communications director (413) 782-1227