Golden Bears win opener 3-1, before rallying for 6-4 victory in game two
MILTON, Mass. (April 12, 2017) – The Western New England University baseball team moved into second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) standings with a pair of victories over Curry College on Wednesday afternoon at Jack Valelly Diamond. The Golden Bears utilized a strong start from junior right-hander Jake Kawiecki (Burlington, Conn.) to take the opener, 3-1, before completing the sweep with a 6-4, comeback win in game two.
Western New England 3, Curry 1
• Kawiecki was impressive on the mound again, striking out four batters and allowing just four hits over six shutout innings to improve to 1-1 this season.
• Sophomore outfielder Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) led the Western New England offense, going 2-for-3 with two RBI, while classmate Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) recorded an RBI single.
• Junior right-hander David Griffin (Hanover, Mass.) got the start for the Colonels and went the distance, striking out seven batters and surrendering three runs (one earned) on four hits over seven innings.
• Freshman Michael Moreau (Marshfield, Mass.) accounted for two of Curry's five hits, and classmate Adam Duarte (East Providence, R.I.) drove in the home team's lone run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
• After being limited to just one hit over the first three innings, Western New England broke out for three runs on three hits in the top of the fourth. Senior Daniel Morin (Salem, N.H.) led off with a double into the gap in right center field, and sophomore Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) reached on an error. Two batters later, Lacaire singled through the left side of the infield, scoring Morin from second. The Golden Bears would add to their lead later in the frame as Cassella came through with a two-out, two-run single to center field.
• Kawiecki stranded two runners on base in the bottom of the fifth and recorded his third 1-2-3 inning of the contest in the sixth. Senior Jacques Boilard (Brimfield, Mass.) came on for the seventh and allowed one run to score before closing the door on the Colonels for his fifth save of the season.
Western New England 6, Curry 4
• Morin was the offensive catalyst for the Golden Bears in game two, as he went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored.
• Sophomores Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) and Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) recorded two hits and one RBI each.
• Sophomore left-hander Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) earned the win in relief after striking out four batters and surrendering just one hit over 3.1 innings.
• Senior Alex McLean (Eliot, Maine) paced the Colonels, going 2-for-3 with one RBI out of the leadoff spot.
• Senior catcher Nick Crivello (Millville, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with one run scored, while junior Justin Cage (Glendora, Calif.) walked, singled and drove in a run.
• Western New England struck first for the second straight game as freshman Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) drew a leadoff walk in the top of the first inning and Morin followed with a two-run homer over the right field fence.
• Morin gave the Golden Bears a 3-0 lead in the second with a two-out RBI single, which scored Cassella from second base.
• Curry put four runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning with four hits, including Cage's two-out, RBI single that gave the Colonels a 4-3 edge.
• The home team's lead was short lived, however, as Western New England answered with two runs in the top of the fifth. Morin got it started with a leadoff double, before scoring two batters later when LaCroix singled to left center. Later in the inning, LaCroix crossed the plate on a wild pitch as the Golden Bears regained a 5-4 lead.
• Western New England tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Rios, while Hamel retired the side in order in the bottom half of the inning to complete the sweep for the Golden Bears.
• Kawiecki lowered his earned run average to 2.14 with his performance in the opener.
• The Golden Bears are now alone in second place in the CCC standings with a 6-4 league record.
• Morin has recorded at least one hit in six straight games, and the senior is batting .565 (13-for-23) during that stretch with three doubles, one triple, one home run and nine RBI.
Western New England (15-8, 6-4 CCC) will be back in action tomorrow with another non-conference contest at UMass Dartmouth, while Curry (6-14, 3-3 CCC) travels to Gordon on Saturday.