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Golden Bears Sweep Gordon with Pair of 13-3 Wins

Ben LaCroix drove in six runs during Western New England's doubleheader sweep of Gordon on Saturday. (Photo by Jim Balderston)
Ben LaCroix drove in six runs during Western New England's doubleheader sweep of Gordon on Saturday. (Photo by Jim Balderston)

LaCroix drives in six runs during doubleheader

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (March 30, 2019) – The Western New England University baseball team improved to 4-0 in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play with a pair of victories over Gordon College on Saturday afternoon at Trelease Park.

Western New England 13, Gordon 3 (8 Innings)

Top Performers
Junior Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) and senior Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) both went 3-for-4 at the plate in the opener, as Nussbaum hit a three-run homer and LaCroix drove in a pair of runs.

Senior Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) posted a 2-for-4 effort with two RBI, while seniors Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.), Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) and Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.), junior Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.), sophomore Joe Webber (Marshfield, Mass.) and freshman Ben Harrison (Newtown, Conn.) drove in one run each.

Senior lefthander Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) turned in a complete game performance for the Golden Bears, striking out seven batters and allowing three runs on five hits over eight innings.

Gordon junior infielder John Lagerfeldt (Stratford, Conn.) finished 2-for-3 with two RBI, while classmate Matt Paulsen (Latham, N.Y.) added two hits for the Fighting Scots.  

Game Review
Gordon scored its only runs of the contest in the first inning, as senior Christian Hodge (Waltham, Mass.) recorded a sacrifice fly and Lagerfeldt drove in two more runs with a double to right field.

The Golden Bears got two runs back in the bottom of the first on RBI singles by Cassella and LaCroix, before tying the contest in the second when Valeriano doubled down the left field line, plating Nussbaum.

Western New England then took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the third. Lacaire led off and reached when he was hit by a pitch, and he eventually came in to score on an RBI single by LaCroix. Later in the frame, Nussbaum sent a three-run shot over the right field fence to make it 7-3.

The Golden Bears added to their lead with four more runs in the seventh, before capping the scoring with two runs in the eighth.

Western New England 13, Gordon 3 (8 Innings)

Top Performers
Western New England piled up 15 hits in the game two victory, with five players registering multi-hit performances.

LaCroix belted a grand slam for his team-leading fourth homer of the season, while Lacaire and Cassella both recorded two hits and two RBI.

Senior shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored, while Webber doubled, tripled and drove in a run.

Senior righthander Paul Wetmore (Hamden, Conn.) was strong on the mound with eight strikeouts and three earned runs over seven frames of work to improve to 3-1 this season.

Gordon was led by senior Chris Leavitt (East Bridgewater, Mass.) and Paulsen. Paulsen went 2-for-3 at the plate, and Leavitt hit a three-run home run.

Game Review
Western New England got off to a fast start with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Lacaire drove in a pair with a double to center, and Cassella added an RBI single to left field.

The following inning, Cassella drove in another run with a single up the middle, before LaCroix emptied the bases with a grand slam to increase Western New England's lead to 8-0.

Gordon cut into its deficit with the help of Leavitt's three-run homer in the fourth, but the Golden Bears kept rolling offensively with one run in the fifth and two in the seventh.

In the bottom of the eighth, freshman catcher Ben Harrison (Newtown, Conn.) ended the contest with a two-run home run, the first of his career.

Up Next
Western New England (10-6, 4-0 CCC) hosts Elms in non-conference action on Monday, while Gordon (2-18, 0-4 CCC) travels to Lasell on Tuesday.