Lacaire & Cassella drive in three runs each as WNE piles up 15 hits
AUBURNDALE, Fla. (March 25, 2018) – The Western New England University baseball team completed a successful 7-1 spring break trip at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational with an 11-5 victory over Benedictine (Ill.) University on Sunday at the Lake Myrtle Complex.
• Junior outfielders Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) and Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) again led the Western New England offense, as Lacaire went 2-for-6 with a double, a triple and three RBI, and Cassella singled twice and also drove in three runs.
• Junior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) and sophomore second baseman Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) both drove in two runs, while sophomore Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.) reached base four times with a double, a triple and two walks to go with a pair of runs.
• Junior right-hander Paul Wetmore (Hamden, Conn.) improved to 2-1 this season after striking out four batters and allowing just one earned run over six innings of work.
• Benedictine sophomore infielder Jonathan Hodo (Lynwood, Ill.) went 2-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored.
• Sophomore Kyle Mitter (Northbrook, Ill.) doubled twice and scored a run, while junior Nicholas Quick (Ottawa, Ill.) and sophomores Matthew Rosko (Sugar Grove, Ill.) and Christian Hubbard (Wheeling, Ill.) recorded one hit and one RBI each.
Western New England put two runs on the board in the first inning and never looked back. Schofield tripled to right center field with one out, and Lacaire followed with an RBI double down the left field line. Two batters later, sophomore Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Lacaire.
The Golden Bears increased their lead to 3-0 with another run in the third inning. After the first two batters were retired, Johnson drew a walk and stole second, before coming in to score on a two-out, RBI single up the middle by Cassella.
Western New England went up 4-0 in the fifth on an RBI triple off the bat of Lacaire, before breaking the game open with four runs in the sixth.
Hodo's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth got the Eagles on the board, but the Golden Bears answered with three more runs in the seventh, two of which scored on a double by LaCroix.
Benedictine cut the final margin to six (11-5) with one run in the seventh and three in the eighth.
• Western New England's 15 hits are its second highest total this season. The Golden Bears have recorded 10+ hits in three straight games and seven times through 12 contests this spring.
• Sunday's win marked the 99th of head coach Dan Gomez's career. Now in his fifth season at the helm of the Western New England baseball program, Gomez is 99-71-1 (.582) through 171 contests.
• The Golden Bears have gone 22-2 (.916) at the RussMatt Central Florida over the last three seasons.
After playing its first 12 games of the season on the road, Western New England (9-3) is scheduled to host No. 1 nationally ranked UMass Boston on Thursday afternoon at Trelease Park.