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Strong Pitching Leads Western New England To Doubleheader Sweep Of #13 TCNJ

Strong Pitching Leads Western New England To Doubleheader Sweep Of #13 TCNJ

Golden Bears defeat Lions by scores of 7-1 and 7-2

AUBURNDALE, Fla. (March 17, 2017) – Sophomore left-hander Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) and senior right-hander Matt Thomas (Plainville, Conn.) both turned in strong pitching performances as the Western New England University baseball team earned a doubleheader sweep of No. 13 nationally ranked The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) today at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. The Golden Bears pulled away late in game one for a 7-1 victory, before rolling to a 7-2 triumph in game two with the help of a six-run third inning.  

Western New England 7, TCNJ 1

Top Performers
• Hamel got the start for Western New England in the opener and went the distance, striking out seven batters and allowing just one unearned run on two hits over his seven innings of work. The sophomore improved to 2-0 this season with his complete game effort.
• Freshman infielder Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and a run scored, while sophomore outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) singled, walked twice and drove in three runs.

• Juniors Mike Follet (Marlton, N.J.) and Patrick Anderson (Long Valley, N.J.) had one hit each for TCNJ, while sophomore Tommy McCarthy (Allentown, N.J.) drove in the Lions' lone run.

Game Review
• Western New England, which was held hitless over the first four frames, plated one run in the first with the help of three passed balls and a walk. TCNJ tied the score in the bottom of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by McCarthy.
• The Golden Bears pulled back ahead in the fourth, as LaCroix drew a walk with the bases loaded, but Western New England was unable to capitalize further, stranding three men on base.
• The Golden Bears added four runs on four hits and one error in the sixth to open up a 6-1 lead. After the first three batters in the inning reached base, a TCNJ error allowed a run to score while keeping the bases loaded. The next two batters were retired, but senior first baseman Daniel Morin (Salem, N.H.) followed with a run-scoring single through the left side of the infield, and LaCroix capped the big frame with a two-run single up the middle.  
• Western New England tacked on one more run in the seventh on an RBI single by junior Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.).

• The Golden Bears outhit the Lions 8-2.
• Hamel lowered his earned run average to 1.08 with his complete game effort.
• Junior catcher Steve Rivela (Hudson, Mass.) singled and scored two runs out of the No. 9 spot in the batting order.

Western New England 7, TCNJ 2

Top Performers
• Thomas threw five strong innings for the Golden Bears in game two, striking out three batters while allowing just one run on four hits to pick up his first win of the season.
• Sophomore infielder Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) and LaCroix both registered multi-hit efforts for Western New England, as Loparco went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored, while LaCroix walked, singled and belted a two-run homer.

• Freshman outfielder Thomas Persichetti (Hamilton, N.J.) walked, singled and scored a run for TCNJ, while senior infielder Alex Christian (Milltown, N.J.) recorded an RBI double.

Game Review
• TCNJ put a run on the board in the first inning, as Persichetti led off with a walk before stealing second and coming in to score on Christian's RBI double to right field.
• The Golden Bears were held to just one hit over the first two frames before erupting for six runs on five hits in the third. Appearing in his first contest of the season, sophomore catcher Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) got the scoring started with an RBI double to right field. Loparco came up two batters later and singled up the middle, scoring Valeriano, before a passed ball allowed freshman Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.) to score from third base. Morin made it 4-1 with an RBI double down the left field line, and LaCroix followed with a two-run homer over the right field fence, giving Western New England a 6-1 advantage.
• Each team added a late run as the Golden Bears went on to win by a 7-2 margin.

• Following his three-hit performance, Loparco leads Western New England with 17 this season.
• The Golden Bears recorded 10+ hits for the sixth time in nine games.
• Western New England surrendered just seven hits to TCNJ batters over the two games.

Up Next
Western New England (7-2) wraps up its eight-game trip tomorrow against the University of Wisconsin-Platteville at the Lake Myrtle Complex, with first pitch scheduled for 9:15 a.m. TCNJ (6-3) takes on Suffolk University at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.