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No. 29 Western New England Falls Victim to Two Walkoff Losses at Wentworth

Sophomore Zac Nussbaum recorded one hit in each game as the Golden Bears were swept at Wentworth on Sunday. (Photo by Jeff Rosenblatt)
Sophomore Zac Nussbaum recorded one hit in each game as the Golden Bears were swept at Wentworth on Sunday. (Photo by Jeff Rosenblatt)

Golden Bears drop to 7-5 in CCC play

BROCKTON, Mass. (April 22, 2018) –
The No. 29 ranked Western New England University baseball team was swept by Wentworth Institute of Technology in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Campanelli Stadium. The Leopards rallied for a 6-5, walk-off victory in the opener, before winning by the same score in eight innings in game two.   

Wentworth 6, WNE 5

Top Performers
• Junior shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) went 1-for-2 with two walks, a double, one RBI and one run scored, while sophomore outfielder Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.) also walked twice and drove in a run.

• Wentworth was led by junior outfielder Ross Golebiewski (Lyme, Conn.), who went 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and two RBI. Golebiewski recorded the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh to complete the Leopards' rally.
• Juniors Andrew Elliott (Rockland, Mass.) and Jake Smith (Orange, Conn.) had two hits each, while senior Tyler Weninger (Chandler, Ariz.) drove in three runs.  

Game Review
Western New England snapped a 1-1 tie with three runs in the top of the third inning. Wentworth senior lefthander Robby Sheldon (Dover, N.H.) hit the first two batters he faced in the frame and walked the third to load the bases. After a pitching change, junior catcher Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) drove in a run with a groundout and Schofield followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield. With the bases still loaded later in the inning, Loparco was hit by a pitch to bring in another run. 

The Leoopards got one run back in the bottom of the third and scored again in the fifth to cut their deficit to 4-3, but the Golden Bears used a Valeriano sacrifice fly in the sixth to restore their two-run cushion.

Trailing 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Wentworth put together a game-winning, three-run rally. The first two batters reached base, and a sacrifice moved them both into scoring position. Elliott came up next and singled to right field, plating a run, but Weninger was thrown out at home as he attempted to score from second. With a runner on first base, Smith singled, before Golebiewski came up and ended the contest with a walk-off, two-run double to right field.

Wentworth 6, WNE 5 (8 Innings)

Top Performers
• Senior Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.) and Valeriano recorded two hits each in game two, while junior Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) doubled and scored two runs.

• Wentworth senior Tim Elrick (Plymouth, Mass.) and freshman Aidan French (Chicago, Ill.) both went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored a combined five runs.
• Elliott went 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Smith drove in three runs for the Leopards.

Game Review
After three scoreless innings, Wentworth pulled ahead on a two-run double by Elliott in the bottom of the fourth. The Leopards tacked on another run sixth on an RBI single by Smith to extend their lead to 3-0. 

Western New England finally broke through in the top of the seventh, however, as the Golden Bears forced extra innings with a three-run rally. Lacaire led off with a double to left field, and Rosenblatt followed with another double to get the visitors on the board. Following a pitching change, sophomore Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) recorded Western New England's third straight double to put two runners in scoring position. Valeriano came up next and struck out swinging, but junior Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) made it a one-run game with a sacrifice fly. With the Golden Bears still trailing 3-2, freshman Jackson Lathrop (New Fairfield, Conn.), who came on to pinch run for Nussbaum, scored the game-tying run on a passed ball.

Western New England appeared to be headed for a split after scoring two runs in the top of the eighth, but the Leopards put together one final rally.

After loading the bases with a single by French, a walk, and a single by Elliott, Smith reached on a fielding error, which allowed two runs to score. The Leopards then walked off for the second straight game as freshman Kyle Litwin (Jacksonville, Fla.) laid down a bunt RBI single down the third base line.

Up Next
Both teams will be on the road on Tuesday with non-conference contests, as Western New England (22-10, 7-5 CCC) travels to Trinity and Wentworth (10-13, 5-7 CCC) visits Babson.