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No. 29 Western New England Drops Two CCC Contests at Roger Williams, 7-6 & 8-2

Junior Ben LaCroix homered once in each game as Western New England lost a pair of CCC contests to Roger Williams on Tuesday. (Photo by Jeff Rosenblatt)
Junior Ben LaCroix homered once in each game as Western New England lost a pair of CCC contests to Roger Williams on Tuesday. (Photo by Jeff Rosenblatt)

LaCroix drives in six runs on the day, including grand slam in game one

BRISTOL, R.I. (April 17, 2018) –
The No. 29 ranked Western New England University baseball team suffered a pair of Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) losses to Roger Williams University on Tuesday afternoon at Paolino Field. The Hawks rallied to earn a 7-6 win in the opener, before posting an 8-2 victory in game two. 

Roger Williams 7, Western New England 6

Top Performers
• Junior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) carried the Western New England offense in game one, as he hit a grand slam and drove in five runs.
• Junior catcher Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) went 2-for-2 at the plate with one RBI, while senior third baseman Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.) walked, doubled and scored two runs.

• Roger Williams was led by freshman Brandon Jenkins (East Bridgewater, Mass.), who went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Jenkins capped the Hawks' comeback with a walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh.
• Junior Chris Bosco (North Andover, Mass.) posted a 2-for-3 showing with one walk and one RBI out of the leadoff spot, while sophomore Danny Roth (West Hartford, Conn.) singled twice and drove in a run.
• Freshman right-hander Matt Vernacatola (Berlin, Conn.) earned the win in relief after allowing two runs on three hits over 6.1 innings. 

Game Review
After putting the first three Western New England batters on base in the top of the first inning with a hit by pitch and a pair of walks, Roger Williams junior right-hander Tyler Brett (Hebron, Conn.) induced a double play. He walked the next batter to load the bases again, however, and LaCroix made him pay with a grand slam over the right field fence to give the Golden Bears a 4-0 advantage. 

Western New England added two more runs in the third as LaCroix recorded a sacrifice fly and Valeriano contributed an RBI single to right field to make it 6-0.

The Hawks cut their deficit in half with three runs in the fourth, before making it a two-run game (6-4) on Bosco's RBI single up the middle in the fifth.

Trailing by the same margin in the seventh, Roger Williams put together a three-run, game-winning rally. Roth led off with an infield single, but Western New England sophomore Matt Vigliotti (Verplanck, N.Y.) retired the next two batters. Bosco kept the Hawks alive with a single, and senior Shane Nowak (Litchfield, N.H.) followed with an RBI single to make it 6-5. Sophomore Justin Stone (Blackstone, Mass.) came up next and struck out swinging, but the ball got away, allowing Bosco to cross the plate with the game-tying run. Jenkins then completed the improbable comeback with a single to right center, scoring Nowak.

Roger Williams 8, Western New England 2

Top Performers
• Rosenblatt was the lone Golden Bear to record multiple hits in game two, as he went 2-for-4 with a double.
• LaCroix walked and homered for the second straight game, while junior Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) went 1-for-3 with one RBI.

• Roth powered the Hawks with two doubles and three RBI, while freshman Dean DePreta (Stamford, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored.

Game Review
Roger Williams took control early with six runs on five hits in the bottom of the first inning. After the first three batters reached base, Jenkins produced a two-run single to left field. DePreta followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield, and Roth doubled two batters later, scoring Jenkins. Sophomore Eddy Jackson (Seekonk, Mass.) and junior Anthony Dominguez (Chester, N.J.) added RBI singles to complete the big frame for the Hawks.

Western New England got two runs back in the second inning, as LaCroix homered with one out and Rios recorded an RBI single three batters later to make it 6-2.

The Golden Bears were held scoreless the rest of the way, however, and Roger Williams added two insurance runs in the fifth to cap the scoring in the contest.

Up Next
Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday with non-conference matchups, as Western New England (19-7, 5-3 CCC) returns home to face Keene State and Roger Williams (14-13, 7-1 CCC) hosts Amherst.