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Western New England Moves to 8-4 in the CCC after Sweep of Visiting Salve Regina

Western New England Moves to 8-4 in the CCC after Sweep of Visiting Salve Regina
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth of the second game, Western New England picked up two runs on two hits, propelling them to a 3-2 victory and a sweep of a Commonwealth Coast Conference baseball doubleheader against Salve Regina at George E. Trelease Memorial Park on Pat Ricci Field on Monday. The Golden Bears won 7-4 in the day's first contest and they improved their overall record to 11-11 (8-4 CCC) while the Seahawks dropped to 12-12 on the season (4-7 CCC).

In the first game, senior Steve Buckley paced the Western New England 11-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with a run batted in. Juniors Kevin Marciano and Doug Milne added two hits apiece while the former had two RBI and the latter drove in a run.

Junior Chris Casey earned his first-ever victory in relief, allowing three runs (1 earned) and scattering three hits in three innings. He walked one batter and struck out two. Casey, who has made only four appearances on the mound in his career, entered the contest in a pivotal spot in the top of the third inning. With the bases loaded and one out, he got David Neil to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to escape the jam and preserve the Golden Bears' 3-1 lead.

The teams traded runs in the opening frame. Neil forced in a run when he was hit by a pitch and Buckley countered for WNE with a run-scoring double to left-center field.

Western New England scored two runs in the second to take the lead for good. Marciano singled up the middle to bring home junior Matt Calzone and sophomore Kyle Maglio who had both reached on singles.

The Golden Bears broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning. Milne ignited the scoring with a RBI-single through the right side. Freshman pinch-hitter Steve Rivela and junior Eduardo Colmenares had RBI-singles with the bases loaded, while Calzone forced in another run on a hit-by-pitch.

The Seahawks put together a three-run sixth, picking up three hits, but couldn't push across enough runs to catch up, only cutting the deficit to three runs.
 
Junior Matt Fedor hurled a perfect seventh, shutting the door on the Seahawks with a strikeout and two flyouts for the save.

The nightcap was a stalemate through four innings, as the opposing pitchers worked quickly and efficiently. Western New England junior starting pitcher Tom Mahoney threw four scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out five Seahawks. Mahoney established his fastball early and continuously threw his breaking pitches for strikes. Salve's Cory Poplawski allowed two earned runs on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 5-1/3 innings.
 
Milne had two hits, including what proved to be the game-winning single on a bad hop off the second baseman's glove in the sixth inning, and senior Matt Anziano tied the contest 2-2 on a run-scoring double to left field. Maglio reached first on an error committed by Salve's catcher on a dropped third strike to start the bottom of the sixth. Marciano advanced the runner with a sacrifice bunt, and then Anziano scored him with a double. With Anziano on second, Milne lined a single, scoring him and giving the Golden Bears the lead for good, 3-2.

Fedor pitched a hitless seventh, picking up his second save of the afternoon and CCC-leading fifth of the season. Freshman Chris Howell (1-0) earned the first win of his career.

Salve got on the board in the fifth as a result of a Golden Bears' error. The Seahawks scored again in the sixth after Neil singled and was knocked in by Alex Kucich to go up 2-1. Western New England had tied it 1-1 in the fifth on junior Connor Hayes' sacrifice fly.

Western New England travels to Westfield State for a non-conference tilt at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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Matt Fedor
April 3, 2015 Matt Fedor