Western New England notches 20th win of 2018 campaign
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 18, 2018) – The No. 29 ranked Western New England University baseball team withstood a four-run, ninth-inning rally to earn a 7-6 victory over Keene State College on Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action at Trelease Park.
• After homering twice in Tuesday's doubleheader at Roger Williams, junior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) stayed hot at the plate, as he went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
• Junior infielder Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) walked, doubled and drove in three runs, while classmate Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) walked twice, singled, stole three bases and scored a run.
• Sophomore right-hander Conor Scully (Auburn, Mass.) earned the win (2-0) in relief after logging 2.1 scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.
• Keene State was led by junior catcher Nate Rossi (Hampstead, N.H.), who turned in a 2-for-4 effort with a double, a walk, two RBI and one run scored.
• Sophomore Tom Meucci (Newington, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI, while junior Devin Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H.) walked, singled, drove in a run and scored twice.
Western New England snapped a 1-1 tie with five runs on four hits in the bottom of the third inning. Two of the first three batters in the frame were retired before LaCroix doubled to right field, scoring junior Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) from third base.
After the next two batters reached base on a hit by pitch and a walk to load the bases, Rios came up and delivered a three-run double to center field. Two batters later, freshman Trevor Gustavson (Ashland, Mass.) capped the big inning with an RBI single to right field.
Cassella recorded a sacrifice fly the following inning to increase Western New England's lead to 7-1, before the Owls got one run back in the sixth on Meucci's two-out, RBI double to left field.
Trailing by the same margin in the ninth, Keene State put together a four-run rally, but fell just short of completing the comeback. Springfield recorded an RBI single in the frame, and Rossi added a two-run double before scoring on a wild pitch.
Western New England sophomore left-hander Jeff Zebrowski (South Hadley, Mass.) was able to settle in and record the final two outs, however, to earn the save and seal the win for the Golden Bears.
• With the win, the Golden Bears improved to 8-2 at Trelease Park this season.
• LaCroix ranks second on the team with 29 RBI after driving in two runs on Wednesday.
• Western New England freshman right-hander Clay Tucker (Chelmsford, Mass.) got the start for the Golden Bears and did not allow a hit, but walked six batters during his 2.2 frames on the mound.
Western New England (20-7) is scheduled to host UMass Dartmouth in another non-conference contest on Thursday, while Keene State (12-11) returns to action on Friday at New England College.