Golden Bears overcome 6-3 deficit with four runs in seventh inning
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 17, 2019) - The Western New England University baseball used a four-run seventh-inning rally to claim a 7-6 victory over New England College on Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action at Trelease Park.
Golden Bears were fueled by a 3-4 performance from junior infielder Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) who finished with three RBIs. Seniors Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) and Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) each collected two hits with Lacaire bringing in a run. Senior infielder Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) had one hit and two RBIs, while sophomore infielder Sebby Grignano (Meridian, Conn.) also had one hit.
Sophomore pitcher Kevin Besko (Poughkeepsie, NY) pitched four innings and allowed just two hits with one strikeout.
For the Pilgrims, senior first baseman Jeam Castillo (Lynn, Mass.) went 2-4 with a double and two RBIs, while senior infielder Xavier Nunez (Lawrence, Mass.) also had two hits and one RBI. Sophomore pitcher Shaun Cormier (Rochester, N.H.) gave up seven runs, struck out three in 6.2 innings pitched.
The Golden Bears gained the lead first in this matchup with a lead-off double from sophomore outfielder Mackenzie Palmer (Princeton Junction, NJ) and a Lacaire single bringing home Palmer. Then, Nussbaum brought in Lacaire off a single through the gap, making the score 2-0.
In the top of the second, a throwing error allowed the Pilgrims to tie the game at 2 apiece.
In the fifth inning, New England College broke the tie with an RBI single from Nunez. After another walk, Castillo hit a double that scored three runs, pushing the lead to 6-2 for the Pilgrims.
After walking in a run in the bottom of the fifth, the Golden Bears would regain their lead with a four-run performance in the seventh. A pair of errors and a walk loaded the bases with Nussbaum up, who roped one down the right field line to score Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) and Lacaire to close in on the lead at 6-5. At the next at bat, Rios crushed a ball to right, scoring Nussbaum and LaCroix, but got called out pushing for the triple.
Junior reliever Conor Scully (Auburn, Mass.) and senior closer Sean Halligan (North Brandford, Conn.) handled the batters in the eighth and ninth to hold the lead for the Golden Bears. Halligan collected his sixth save of the season and the Golden Bears picked up a 7-6 victory.
• With three RBIs, Nussbaum now has 25 on the season, which ranks third on the team.
• Loparco now has five straight multi-hit games and 14 multi-hit games on the season.
Western New England (18-9, 9-1 CCC) will host another non-conference opponent tomorrow with UMass-Dartmouth coming to Trelease Park at 3:30 pm. New England College will face Mitchell Friday at 2 pm.