Western New England establishes new program record for runs scored
KEENE, N.H. (April 3, 2019) – The Western New England University baseball team set a new program record for runs scored in a 32-11, non-conference victory over Keene State College on Wednesday afternoon at the Owl Athletic Complex.
Six of Western New England's nine starters posted multi-hit efforts, while 11 Golden Bears had at least one hit in the offensive explosion.
Senior shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) led the way, going 5-for-5 at the plate with a double, two walks, four RBI and six runs scored, in the process reaching the 100-RBI milestone for his career.
Senior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, four RBI and five runs. LaCroix's solo shot in the top of the second inning moved him into a tie for first place on the program's career home run list with 15.
Senior centerfielder Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) and junior second baseman Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) both doubled twice and drove in a combined five runs, while freshman Ben Harrison (Newtown, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with a double and four RBI. Lacaire also reached the 100-RBI mark and scored five runs in the win.
Keene State junior outfielder Matthew Goldman (Newington, Conn.) paced the Owls, going 2-for-2 with a double, a home run and three RBI.
The Golden Bears, who scored multiple runs in six of the seven innings, got to Keene State sophomore pitcher Brian Vieira (Wethersfield, Conn.) for eight runs on nine hits in the top of the first inning.
Lacaire got the scoring started with a one-out RBI double to left field, and senior outfielder Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) followed with an RBI single before junior Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) drove in a pair two batters later with a triple to right. After the second out was recorded, sophomore catcher Jake Balderston (Hadley, Mass.) recorded an RBI single, senior infielder Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) hit a two-run double to center field, and Loparco capped the scoring in the frame with an RBI single to left.
LaCroix's solo homer in the top of the second made it 9-0 in favor of the Golden Bears, before the Owls got on the board in the bottom half of the inning with RBI doubles by Goldman and junior Tom Meucci (Newington, Conn.).
Western New England then put four runs on the board in both the third and fourth innings to extend the lead to 17-2.
Keene State's bottom half of the fourth was highlighted by Goldman's two-run homer, and a two-run single off the bat of junior Connor Walsh (Goffstown, N.H.), as the Owls scored six times in the frame to close the gap to nine (17-8).
The Western New England offense continued to pile up runs with four in the fifth, five in the sixth and six in the seventh.
• Western New England broke the previous record of 31 runs from the Golden Bears' 31-8 win over Concordia Wisconsin on March 17, 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
• Western New England has scored 94 runs during its current five-game winning streak.
Western New England (12-6, 4-0 CCC) returns home to host Nichols in CCC action on Friday at 3:30 p.m., while Keene State (6-12, 2-4 LEC) welcomes Johnson & Wales to the Owl Athletic Complex on Saturday at 1 p.m.