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Western New England Falls to Oswego State 6-5 in Final Game at Spartan Southern Classic

Ben LaCroix hit his third homer of the season in Western New England's 6-5 loss to Oswego State on Thursday. (Photo by Jim Balderston)
Ben LaCroix hit his third homer of the season in Western New England's 6-5 loss to Oswego State on Thursday. (Photo by Jim Balderston)

Golden Bears finish 3-4 on spring break trip in South Carolina

LEXINGTON, S.C. (March 21, 2019) – The Western New England University baseball team fell victim to a three-run ninth inning rally as the Golden Bears dropped a 6-5 decision to Oswego State in their final game at the Spartan Southern Classic on Thursday morning at Lexington County Stadium.

Top Performers
Three of Western New England's five runs came on one swing by senior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.), who blasted a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.

Senior shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) went 3-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored, while junior outfielder Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.) walked three times and scored a run.

Oswego State was led by sophomore catcher Dylan Frawley (Clay, N.Y.), who went 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBI.

Junior Lukas Olsson (Bayport, N.Y.) doubled and drove in two runs, while senior Mike Dellicarri (Congers, N.Y.), junior Casey Gruarin (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) and sophomore Ryan Enos (Oriskany, N.Y.) had two hits each.  

Game Review
The Lakers got off to a fast start with two runs in the top of the first inning. Enos led off with an infield single, before coming in to score two batters later on a single through the right side of the infield by Dellicarri. Olsson came up next and grounded out to short, plating freshman Paul Tammaro (New City, N.Y.).

The Golden Bears answered with three runs in the bottom of the first, as Schofield and Loparco reached on a walk and a single, respectively, before coming in to score on a three-run shot to right field by LaCroix.

Each team scored one run in the third inning, and Western New England maintained its 4-3 edge until the seventh, when Loparco recorded an RBI groundout to make it 5-3.

In the top of the ninth, senior Sean Halligan (North Branford, Conn.) came on to pitch for Western New England, seeking his fourth save of the season.

Halligan struck out the first batter he faced, but Dellicari reached on an infield single and Olsson followed with a run-scoring double to left center to make it a 5-4 game.

After Olsson was retired at third base on a fielder's choice for the second out of the frame, Halligan surrendered a single to Gruarin and plunked pinch-hitter Matt Deblasio (New City, N.Y.) to load the bases. Frawley came up next and delivered a two-out, two-run single to left field, giving the Lakers a 6-5 advantage.

Western New England was able to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Oswego State sophomore pitcher Ronald Loomis (Livonia, N.Y.) struck out senior catcher Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) to end the contest.

• LaCroix's first inning home run was his third in South Carolina and 14th of his career, good for a tie for second in program history.
• The Golden Bears stranded ten runners on base, including six over the last two innings.

Up Next
Western New England (4-5) travels back up north to open Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play on Saturday against Wentworth, while Oswego State (7-4) plays Brockport in a SUNYAC doubleheader at Lexington County Stadium.