Loparco drives in five runs in game two victory
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 15, 2017) – The Western New England University baseball team split a non-conference doubleheader with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on Saturday afternoon at Trelease Park. RPI posted an 8-0 win in the opener, before the Golden Bears bounced back to earn a split with a 7-3 victory in game two.
RPI 8, Western New England 0
• Junior Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.), sophomore Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) and freshman Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) had one hit each for the Golden Bears.
• Junior Weston Hawkins (Fleetwood, Pa.) was among five Engineers to post a multi-hit performance, as he went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
• Junior Ethann Meister (Santa Teresa, N.M.) also went 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored, while senior Thomas Desmond (Alamo, Calif.) walked, singled, drove in one run and scored two.
• RPI opened the scoring with one run in the first on a sacrifice fly by senior Justin Valente (West Palm Beach, Fla.).
• The Engineers added two more runs in the second inning, before breaking the game open with five runs in the third. Meister highlighted RPI's third inning with a two-run triple to right center field, while Desmond recorded an RBI single and Hawkins added a two-run double later in the frame.
• Rosenblatt led off the bottom half of the inning with a double deep to center field, but he was stranded at third base as RPI sophomore pitcher Brendan McNerney (Ardsley, N.Y.) escaped the third unscathed.
• Western New England was limited to just two singles the rest of the way as the Engineers took game one, 8-0.
Western New England 7, RPI 3
• Sophomore Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) powered the Western New England offense, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and five RBI.
• Senior right-hander Matt Thomas (Plainville, Conn.) got the start on the mound for the Golden Bears and struck out seven batters (four looking) while allowing three runs on nine hits over five innings.
• Desmond led RPI at the plate, as he went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI, while Meister and senior Yahriel Jiminez (San Juan, P.R.) recorded two hits each.
• After failing to score in the opener, Western New England put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning without recording a hit. Johnson and Loparco led off the frame with back-to-back walks, and both players advanced on a double steal before coming in to score on consecutive wild pitches.
• The Golden Bears tacked on two more runs in the second to open up a 4-0 lead. After the first two batters were retired, sophomore catcher Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) and Johnson drew consecutive walks before executing another double steal. Loparco came up next and drove in two runs with a double down the left field line.
• RPI got back into the contest with three runs in the top of the third, as Desmond recorded a two-out, two-run single to center field and Meister followed with an RBI double down the left field line.
• The Golden Bears added three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh on Loparco's second home run of the season, a three-run shot over the left field fence.
• Freshman Patrick Westerlind (Auburn, Mass.) and senior Jacques Boilard (Brimfield, Mass.) worked a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, respectively, as the Golden Bears earned a split with their 7-3 win.
• Loparco is tied for the team lead with nine doubles, while his 19 RBI rank third.
• Western New England sophomore left-hander Will Krasovec (Haverhill, Mass.) and his brother, RPI senior right-hander Jack Krasovec (Haverhill, Mass.) both came in on relief for their respective teams in the seventh inning of game two.
Western New England (16-10) will be back in action on Tuesday with a non-conference contest at Suffolk, while RPI (13-14) returns home to host Vassar next Saturday.