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Hamel & Wetmore Go the Distance as Golden Bears Sweep Wentworth in CCC Opener

Bob Hamel limited Wentworth to one run in a complete game effort as the Golden Bears opened CCC play with two victories over Wentworth on Saturday. (Photo by Jim Balderston)
Bob Hamel limited Wentworth to one run in a complete game effort as the Golden Bears opened CCC play with two victories over Wentworth on Saturday. (Photo by Jim Balderston)

Golden Bears defeat Leopards by scores of 4-1 & 10-0

HARTFORD, Conn. (March 23, 2019) – Senior pitchers Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) and Paul Wetmore (Hamden, Conn.) both turned in complete game efforts as the Western New England University baseball team opened Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play with two wins over Wentworth Institute of Technology on Saturday at Murren Family Field on the campus of Trinity College.

Western New England 4, Wentworth 1

Top Performers
Hamel held the Wentworth offense in check in the opener, striking out four batters and allowing just one run on seven hits over nine innings of work.

Senior shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) went 3-for-4 at the plate with a walk, a double and one RBI, while senior infielder Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) and senior catcher Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) had two hits each.

Wentworth senior Ross Golebiewski (Lyme, Conn.) and sophomore Aidan French (Chicago, Ill.) both went 2-for-4 to pace the Leopards offensively.

Game Review
After three scoreless frames, Western New England struck first with one run in the bottom of the fourth. Senior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) led off with a single to right field, before moving up to second on a sacrifice by Rios. After the next batter was retired, Valeriano came through with a clutch two-out RBI single down the left field line.

The Golden Bears added to their advantage with two more runs the following inning. With two outs and runners on second and third following a double steal, LaCroix hit a grounder to second base that was fielded, but the throw to first was off the mark, allowing both runs to score.

Wentworth broke through for its only run of the day in the top of the sixth. French led off with a double to left center, and advanced to third when junior Dan Mitchell (Avon, Mass.) beat out an infield single. Mitchell then became one of Hamel's three pickoff victims, but French successfully stole home when he was caught in a rundown.

An RBI single by Loparco in the bottom of the sixth capped the scoring in the contest, and Hamel faced just one batter over the minimum the rest of the way.

Western New England 10, Wentworth 0

Top Performers
Wetmore turned in Western New England's second straight impressive pitching performance, as he struck out eight and gave up just three hits over seven shutout frames on the mound to improve to 2-1.

Loparco went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot, while Valeriano and sophomore Sebby Grignano (Meriden, Conn.) both posted 2-for-3 efforts with one RBI and two runs.

Game Review
The Western New England offense gave Wetmore all the run support he would need in the bottom of the first inning, as the Golden Bears scored eight times on six hits and one error.

Loparco led off with an infield single, and senior center fielder Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) followed with a single to left field before senior DH Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) worked a walk to load the bases.

After LaCroix drove in the game's first run with an RBI groundout, Rios came up next and made it 3-0 with a two-run triple down the right field line.

Later in the frame, Valeriano and Grignano both added RBI singles, while Loparco plated two additional runs on a single to right field, before stealing home to cap the big inning.

Sophomore outfielder Joe Webber (Marshfield, Mass.) extended Western New England's lead to 9-0 with an RBI groundout in the third, and the Golden Bears scored one final run in the sixth on another RBI groundout, this time by Lacaire.

Wetmore, who retired the first six batters he faced before giving up a leadoff double to Wentworth freshman Matt Bishop (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) in the top of the third, posted four 1-2-3 innings in the contest.

Up Next
Western New England (6-5, 2-0 CCC) will be right back in action on Monday afternoon, when the Golden Bears host Framingham State at 3:30 p.m. Wentworth (3-13, 0-2 CCC) travels to Johnson & Wales next Thursday.