Loparco goes 3-for-4 with game-winning RBI single in seventh inning
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (March 19, 2018) – The Western New England University baseball team used solid pitching and timely hitting to earn a 4-2 victory over Westminster (Mo.) College on Monday morning at the Chain O' Lakes Complex.
• Making his second career start, freshman right-hander Kevin Besko (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) surrendered just one earned run on three hits over five innings. Sophomore Matt Vigliotti (Verplanck, N.Y.) earned the win after throwing two scoreless innings of relief, while junior left-hander Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) got the final five outs to pick up his first career save.
• Junior shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) continued his strong play, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI, including the game-winning hit in the seventh inning.
• Westminster senior outfielder Mason Price (Belle, Mo.) went 2-for-4 and drove in both of the Blue Jays' runs, while classmate Blake Strebler (St. Louis, Mo.) posted a 2-for-3 effort with a walk and two runs scored.
• Freshman left-hander Skyler Dickneite (Westphalia, Mo.) did not receive a decision after pitching six innings and allowing two unearned runs on six hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Westminster got to Besko for a run in the top of the first inning, as Price came through with a two-out, RBI single, scoring Strebler.
The Golden Bears pulled ahead with two runs in the bottom of the frame, however. After sophomore Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) and freshman Neil Velasquez (Stratford, Conn.) recorded consecutive singles to open the inning, a passed ball moved both runners into scoring position. Loparco delivered an RBI single to tie the contest, and senior Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.) came up next and brought in Velasquez with an RBI groundout.
Price struck again for the Blue Jays in the third inning with an RBI double to left field, tying the contest 2-2.
Neither team scored in the fourth, fifth or sixth innings, before Western New England took the lead for good in the seventh. Johnson reached base on an error with one out, and stole second base to get into scoring position. Loparco came up later in the inning and provided the game-winning hit with an RBI single to center field, scoring Johnson.
The Golden Bears tacked on an insurance run in the eighth, and Hamel worked around a pair of ninth-inning walks to seal the win for Western New England.
• Western New England's four pitchers allowed just four hits, the lowest total this season.
• Loparco has recorded a hit in all seven games this spring, with five multi-hit efforts.
Western New England will be back at the Chain O' Lakes Complex tomorrow morning for the fourth of eight games at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, as the Golden Bears take on New Paltz at 9 a.m.