Loparco, Balderston & Grignano record two hits each for WNE
WESTFIELD, Mass. (April 25, 2019) – The Western New England University baseball team fell to Westfield State University, 9-3, on Thursday afternoon in non-conference action at Hagan Field.
All nine Western New England starters had a hit in the contest, with senior Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) and sophomores Jake Balderston (Hadley, Mass.) and Sebby Grignano (Meriden, Conn.) posting two-hit efforts.
Westfield State was led by senior outfielder Anthony Crowley (Bellingham, Mass.), who went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and five RBI. Freshman outfielder Ethan Day (Meriden, Conn.) doubled twice and drove in two runs, while sophomore Nick Martin (Shrewsbury, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot in the batting order.
Westfield State opened the scoring in the bottom of the second, as Crowley led off with a walk before eventually crossing the plate on an RBI groundout by senior Tyler Beach (Quincy, Mass.).
The following inning, the Owls increased their lead to 4-0 when Crowley came up with two outs and two runners on base and hit a three-run homer over the fence in left field.
Western New England cut its deficit in half (4-2) with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, as sophomore Joe Webber (Marshfield, Mass.) recorded a sacrifice fly and senior Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) later scored on a Westfield State error after reaching on a fielder's choice.
The Owls plated a run in the fifth to push their lead to 5-2, but Western New England answered with a run in the sixth on Grignano's two-out, RBI single down the left field line.
Westfield State pulled away late, however, with two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to extend the final margin to six.
• Western New England and Westfield State both had 12 hits and stranded eight runners on base.
• Following his two-hit performance, Loparco is just one hit shy of 200 for his career.
• Westfield State freshman pitcher Alex Honey (Suffield, Conn.) earned the win after giving up two earned runs with four strikeouts over 5.2 innings of work.
Western New England (20-11) wraps up CCC play on Saturday at Endicott, while Westfield State (20-10) remains at home to host Bridgewater State on Friday.