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Golden Bears Drop Doubleheader to Salve Regina in CCC Opener

Golden Bears Drop Doubleheader to Salve Regina in CCC Opener

Hamel allows just one run over seven innings in game one setback

NEWPORT, R.I. (March 25, 2017) – The No. 22/30 nationally ranked Western New England University baseball team was held to just eight hits and one run during a pair of losses to Salve Regina University this afternoon as both teams opened Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play at Reynolds Field. The Golden Bears, who batted second as the home team in both contests, fell 1-0 in the opener and 4-1 in game two.

Salve Regina 1, Western New England 0

Top Performers                                                                                                          
• Sophomore left-hander Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) took his first loss of the season (2-1) for the Golden Bears despite posting a strong effort in which he surrendered just one run on six hits (all singles) over a complete game, seven-inning performance.
• Sophomore outfielder Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) accounted for Western New England's only extra-base hit of the contest with his double in the first inning.

• Junior left-hander Jimmy Fitzgerald (Canton, Mass.) was impressive on the mound for Salve Regina, as he improved to 3-0 this season after striking out nine batters and allowing just five hits over seven shutout innings.  
• Junior John Militano (Miller Place, N.Y.) went 1-for-3 at the plate and scored the game's only run, while sophomore Zack Smith (New Canaan, Conn.) reached base twice with a walk and a single.

Game Review
• Militano led off the contest with an infield single, before advancing to second base on a groundout, stealing third and eventually coming in to score the only run of the game on junior Alex Perry's (North Attleboro, Mass.) groundout to third.
• Lacaire doubled to left center in the bottom half of the inning and reached third on a passed ball, but he was stranded there as Fitzgerald struck out the final batter of the frame.
• Western New England placed a runner in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings, but the Golden Bears were unable to capitalize as they were shut out for the first time this season.

Salve Regina 4, Western New England 1

Top Performers                                                                                                          
• Junior Steve Rivela (Hudson, Mass.), sophomore Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) and freshman Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.) recorded one hit each for the Golden Bears.

• Senior Cory Poplawski (Syracuse, N.Y.) posted Salve Regina's second consecutive complete-game performance, striking out four batters and allowing just one run on three hits in the process.
• Smith led the way offensively for the Seahawks, going 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Perry and freshman Dylan Ketch (Clinton, Conn.) added two hits each, while junior Christian Vargas (Melbourne, Fla.) singled and drove in a run.

Game Review
• Salve Regina opened the scoring in the top of the second, as Smith led off with a single before scoring from third when freshman Stephen Cirella (Jamestown, R.I.) grounded into a double play.
• The Seahawks added two more runs in the fourth to extend their lead to 3-0. Smith and Ketch recorded consecutive singles to lead off the frame, and both advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. After a walk loaded the bases, Vargas beat out an infield single and senior Hunter Sleeper (Arlington, Mass.) drew a walk to plate two more runs.
• A sacrifice fly by Cirella in the fifth capped the scoring for the Seahawks as Salve Regina opened up a 4-0 lead.
• Western New England broke through for a run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI groundout by sophomore outfielder Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.).

• The Golden Bears entered today's action ranked No. 22 in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA Poll, and No. 30 in the ABCA DIII Poll. Salve Regina was among teams receiving votes in both polls.
• Today's doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played in Springfield, but had to be moved due to field conditions at Trelease Park.

Up Next
Western New England (8-4, 0-2 CCC) will be right back in action on Monday at 4 p.m. with a non-conference contest against MIT at Trinity College. Salve Regina (9-2) hosts Keene State tomorrow at 1 p.m.