Schofield & Nussbaum homer for Golden Bears, Loparco & LaCroix drive in two runs each
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 11, 2018) – A pair of late home runs helped the No. 28 nationally ranked Western New England University baseball team earn a 9-5 victory over Westfield State University on Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action at Trelease Park.
• Sophomore infielder Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.) sparked the Western New England offense with a 2-for-3 showing out of the leadoff spot in the batting order, as he went 2-for-3 at the plate with two walks, a home run, two RBI and four runs scored.
• Juniors Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) and Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) both recorded two hits and drove in two runs, while sophomore Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) hit his third homer of the season.
• Freshman right-hander Kevin Hummer (Shrewsbury, Mass.) earned the win (3-1) after tossing a scoreless sixth inning.
• Westfield State was led by senior John Lippincott (Barkhamsted, Conn.) and junior Colin Dunn (Westfield, Mass.), who drove in two runs apiece.
The Owls snapped a 1-1 tie with a four-run top of the fifth inning that featured two-run singles by both Lippincott and Dunn.
Western New England answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, however, to cut its deficit to 5-4. Schofield got the rally started with a leadoff walk, but the next two batters were retired. Junior Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) kept the inning alive with a single to right field, and a passed ball put two runners in scoring position. Senior Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.) came up next and produced an RBI single to left field, and LaCroix followed with a two-run double to right.
The Golden Bears then pulled ahead (6-5) the following inning, when Schofield sent a two-run homer over the right field fence.
Western New England tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth, as Nussbaum hit a solo shot, Loparco recorded an RBI double, and junior Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Junior left-hander Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) came on for the ninth inning and closed the door on the Owls with a 1-2-3 frame.
• Wednesday's victory marked Western New England's eighth consecutive triumph dating back to March 31.
• The Golden Bears entered the day ranked 15th nationally with 9.2 runs per game. WNE has scored 94 runs during its eight-game winning streak.
• Loparco is batting .436 this season, and he leads the team with 34 hits.
Western New England (17-4) will be right back in action on Thursday, as the Golden Bears host Eastern Connecticut State at 3:30 p.m. Westfield State (12-12-1) returns home to face Salem State on Saturday.