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Golden Bears Sweep Salve Regina, Earn Top Seed in Next Week‚??s CCC Tournament

Golden Bears Sweep Salve Regina, Earn Top Seed in Next Week‚??s CCC Tournament
NEWPORT, R.I. (May 1, 2016) - The Western New England University baseball team completed its Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) schedule with a doubleheader sweep of Salve Regina University today at Reynolds Field. The Golden Bears erupted offensively in the opener on their way to a 15-12 victory, before posting a 5-4, extra-inning win in game two.
 
With the two wins, Western New England (28-9, 13-3 CCC) earns a share of the CCC regular season title along with Endicott, as the two teams finished with identical records in conference play. The Golden Bears also clinched the top seed in next week's CCC Tournament, which will be hosted by Western New England at Trelease Park. Salve Regina (21-15-1, 10-6 CCC) will enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed.
 
Western New England 15, Salve Regina 12
The Golden Bears exploded for a season-high 15 runs, including ten in the first inning, and held off Salve Regina's late rally to secure the win in game one.
 
Eight of Western New England's nine starters recorded at least one hit, led by senior infielder Eduardo Colmenares (Caracas, Venezuela), who went 3-for-5 with a home run, two walks and five RBI. Junior Daniel Morin (Salem, N.H.) also homered and drove in three runs, while freshman Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) posted a 2-for-5 effort at the plate with two RBI.
 
The Golden Bears plated five runs in the top of the first before recording a single out, and added five more runs before the inning was over. Colmenares opened the scoring with an RBI single, and senior Doug Milne (Nesconset, N.Y.) followed with another RBI single before Morin belted a three-run shot to left field.
 
A Salve Regina error later in the frame allowed two more runs to score, and Colmenares put the finishing touches on the ten-run outburst with a three-run homer in his second at-bat of the inning.
 
Western New England tacked on five more runs in the second to open up a commanding 15-0 lead. Freshman Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) got it started with a ground-rule double that scored Morin, while Loparco came up next and delivered a two-run single to right center. Colmenares drove in his fifth run of the contest later in the inning, and senior captain Kevin Marciano (Pepperell, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch after drawing a walk.
 
Salve Regina began to slowly chip away at its deficit with single runs in the second, third and fourth innings, before putting five runs on the board in the fifth. Freshman outfielder John Kussmaul (Brick, N.J.) provided the big hit in the frame with a three-run home run, after classmate Colton Eremian (Boca Raton, Fla.) delivered a two-run single.
 
Trailing 15-8 after six innings, the Seahawks made the game interesting with four more runs in the bottom of the seventh, but they were never able to recover from Western New England's early offensive onslaught.
 
Senior Matt Fedor (Monroe, Conn.) came on to record the final out for the Golden Bears, earning his second save of the season.
 
Western New England 5, Salve Regina 4 (8 Innings)
Western New England came out on top in a back-and-forth game two to complete the sweep and clinch the top seed in the CCC Tournament. The Golden Bears continued to roll offensively, recording ten more hits.
 
With the game tied 4-4 after seven innings, Western New England loaded the bases in the top of the eighth and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by LaCroix. The Golden Bears left the bases loaded, missing an opportunity to extend their lead, but junior Jacques Boilard (Brimfield, Mass.) worked around a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.
 
Salve Regina claimed an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on sophomore Alex Perry's (North Attleboro, Mass.) RBI double and an RBI single by freshman Tristan Dacey (Wyckoff, N.J.).

The Golden Bears pulled even in the top of the third, as Loparco doubled with one out before stealing third and scoring on a Salve Regina throwing error, and senior Scott Hubener (Mendon, Mass.) drilled a solo homer later in the frame.
 
Salve Regina reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Eremian, and the home team maintained its 3-2 edge until the top of the sixth, when Western New England took its first lead with a pair of runs, the second of which scored on an RBI single by Milne.
 
Eremian led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to center field, and after the next two batters were retired, he stole second and eventually came in to score on an RBI single by junior Hunter Sleeper (Arlington, Mass.). Neither team was able score in the seventh, sending the contest to extra innings.
 
Colmenares, Milne and Loparco all posted two-hit efforts to lead the Western New England offense, which finished the day with 23 hits.