Western New England breaks game open with five runs in ninth
WESTFIELD, Mass. (April 8, 2018) – The Western New England University baseball team scored nine runs over the final three innings to earn a 13-5 victory over Westfield State University on Sunday afternoon in non-conference action at Hagan Field.
• Junior shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) was among four Golden Bears to post a multi-hit effort, as he went 3-for-6 at the plate with one RBI and three runs scored.
• Juniors Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) and Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) and sophomore Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) each recorded two hits and scored two runs, while Cassella, senior Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.) and junior Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) drove in two runs apiece.
• Junior left-hander Sean Halligan (North Branford, Conn.) earned the win in relief after striking out two batters and allowing one unearned run on two hits over 2.2 innings.
• Westfield State senior first baseman Alex Lafayette (Ludlow, Mass.) powered the Owls' offense, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, a home run and three RBI.
• Junior Colin Dunn (Westfield, Mass.) and sophomore Jake Gibb (Stoughton, Mass.) both turned in 2-for-4 showings.
Cassella staked the Golden Bears to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning with a two-out RBI single through the right side of the infield.
Westfield State tied the contest in the fourth on an RBI single by sophomore Brett Dooley (Cohasset, Mass.), but Western New England pulled back ahead in the top of the fifth when Rosenblatt recorded an RBI single, scoring Cassella.
The Owls claimed their only lead of the game (4-2) in the bottom of the fifth, when Lafayette hit a three-run homer.
The Golden Bears plated two runs in the sixth to even the score again, before taking the lead for good with three runs in the seventh.
After extending their advantage to 8-5 in the eighth on an RBI double by LaCroix, Western New England broke the game open with five runs in the ninth, which was highlighted by Valeriano's two-run triple.
• Sunday's victory gives the Golden Bears a season-high seven-game winning streak.
• Western New England has scored 85 runs during its latest winning streak.
• Loparco and Cassella rank first and second on the team with 32 and 28 hits, respectively.
Western New England (16-4) and Westfield State (11-11-1) will meet for the second time in four days on Wednesday at Trelease Park. Before their trip to Springfield, the Owls are set to host Coast Guard on Monday at 3:30 p.m.