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Baseball Opens Conference Play Against Western New England

Baseball Opens Conference Play Against Western New England

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Wentworth Institute of Technology baseball team opened Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader against Western New England at Trinity College.

GAME ONE:  Western New England 4, Wentworth 1
The opener remained scoreless for the first three and a half innings before Western New England got on the board with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) led off with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, LaCroix came around to score on an RBI single off the bat of classmate Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.). An inning later, the Golden Bears took advantage of a Wentworth error to score two more runs and take a 3-1 lead. Junior Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) led off with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Senior Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) walked, and, with two outs, both players stole bases putting runners on second and third. LaCroix reached on an error to score Johnson and Loparco. Western New England had runners on first and second with two outs, however, junior Ryan Obin (Plymouth, Mass.) ended the inning with a strikeout.

Wentworth jumped on the board in the top of the sixth inning. Sophomore Aidan French (Chicago, Ill.) doubled and went to third on a hit by junior Dan Mitchell (Avon, Mass.). On a pickoff play, Mitchell was out, however, French came in from third to make it 3-1.

The Golden Bears scored a run in the home half of the inning when they took advantage of a Wentworth error. Sophomore Joe Webber (Marshfield, Mass.) walked and was lifted for senior pinch runner Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.), who stole second. Johnson walked and was out when junior Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.) reached on a fielder's choice which also moved Lacaire to third. Loparco followed by reaching on a two-out error which scored Lacaire.

Senior Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) improved to 1-1 on the season as he pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and striking out four. Loparco was 3-for-4 while senior Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) and Valeriano each had two hits.

Obin allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits and struck out four in six innings of work in the loss (1-3). Senior Ben Rexford (Lancaster, N.H.) pitched two scoreless innings in relief, allowing three hits and striking out three batters. Offensively, French and senior Ross Golebiewski (Lyme, Conn.) each had a pair of hits.

GAME TWO:  Western New England 10, Wentworth 0 (Seven Innings)
Western New England struck for eight runs in the bottom of the first inning. With the bases loaded LaCroix grounded out to score Loparco, Rios had a three-run triple and came into score on an RBI single from Valeriano, sophomore Sebby Grignano (Meriden, Conn.) had an RBI single, and Loparco drove in two with an RBI single which also saw him go to second on an error. After he went to third on a wild pitch, a double steal brought him in with the eighth run. Valeriano led off the third inning with a double, stole third, and came home on a groundout by Grignano to make it 10-0.

The Golden Bears increased their lead to 10-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, thanks to an RBI groundout by Lacaire, which scored Grigano who had led off the inning with a single.

Senior Paul Wetmore (Hamden, Conn.) spun a three-hit shutout, striking out eight batters. Loparco was 2-for-4 with two RBI while Valeriano and Grignano each collected two hits.

Junior Devin Haberstumpf (Forest Hills, N.Y.) took the loss (0-1) as he allowed six runs on four hits in just a third of an inning. Senior Leo Coehlo (Marlborough, Mass.) pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and struck out six, four of which were looking. Freshman Matt Perconti (Hancock, Maine) allowed an unearned run in the seventh inning. Golebiewski, freshman Matt Bishop (Ballston Lake, N.Y.), and freshman Nolan McManus (Milton, Mass.) had hits for the Black & Gold.

Wentworth (3-13, 0-2 CCC) is at Johnson & Wales on Thursday afternoon.

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