Western New England defeats Nichols by scores of 1-0 and 14-1
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 8, 2017) – Behind a pair of strong pitching performances from sophomores Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) and Paul Wetmore (Hamden, Conn.), the Western New England University baseball team earned a doubleheader sweep of Nichols College on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at Trelease Park. The Golden Bears posted a 1-0 shutout in the opener, before rolling to a 14-1 triumph in game two.
Western New England 1, Nichols 0
• Hamel got the start in game one and went the distance for the third time this season, striking out five batters and allowing six hits over his seven innings of work to improve to 4-1.
• Sophomore outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) went 2-for-3 at the plate, while junior infielder Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.) drove in the game's only run with groundout in the fourth inning.
• Nichols sophomore right-hander Danny Hayden (East Greenwich, R.I.) took the loss for Nichols despite turning in an impressive performance in which he allowed just one unearned run on five hits over seven innings on the mound.
• Western New England recorded two singles in the top of the first inning, but both runners were stranded on base. The Bison suffered the same fate in the bottom half of the frame as the game remained scoreless.
• The Golden Bears plated the only run of the contest in the top of the fourth. After freshman Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) reached base on an error, another Nichols miscue put Nussbaum and sophomore Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) in scoring position with no outs. Rosenblatt came up next and grounded out to the Nichols shortstop, allowing Nussbaum to score from third.
• Hamel did the rest of the work, retiring the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings before registering a pair of key strikeouts in the seventh with a runner on second base to seal the victory.
Western New England 14, Nichols 1
• Wetmore followed up Hamel's effort with another strong pitching performance, as the sophomore surrendered just one hit over six innings to pick up his third victory of the season (3-2).
• Western New England's bats came alive in game two, as four different Golden Bears posted multi-hit efforts and seven different players drove in a run. Senior first baseman Daniel Morin (Salem, N.H.) went 2-for-5 with a double, a triple and three RBI, while freshman Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) and sophomore Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) both walked, singled twice, scored two runs and recorded two RBI.
• Western New England claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as Morin reached on a fielder's choice before advancing to third on a double by sophomore Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) and coming in to score on a groundout by LaCroix.
• The Golden Bears tacked on three more runs in the fourth to open up a 4-0 lead. LaCroix got it started with a walk and came around to score two batters later on an RBI double down the left field line by Rios, while Rosenblatt and Cassella followed with RBI hits as well.
• After extending its lead to 8-0 with two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, Western New England put the game out of reach with six runs in the top of the seventh. Cassella recorded an RBI single and Johnson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, before Morin drove in three runs with a triple to center field. Morin then scored on a Nichols fielding error, capping the big inning for the Golden Bears.
• The Bison plated their only run of the contest in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by freshman Christian Naccari (Ossining, N.Y.).
• Western New England's game one shutout marked its second straight and fourth overall this season, while the team's 14-run performance in game two represented the fourth time the Golden Bears have scored 10+ runs this spring.
• Hamel lowered his earned run average to 1.82 with his complete game shutout, while Wetmore dropped his ERA to 3.24 with his six inning effort.
Western New England (12-7, 3-3 CCC) will look to keep rolling tomorrow, as the Golden Bears host Wentworth for two more CCC contests at Trelease Park. Nichols (12-9, 4-2 CCC) will be back on the road tomorrow at Endicott.