SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 30, 2016) – Backed by a pair of strong pitching performances and a 20-hit offensive showing, the Western New England University baseball team earned a pair of Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) victories over Curry College on senior day this afternoon at Trelease Park. The Golden Bears rolled to a 6-0 triumph in the opener, and rallied late in game two en route to a 6-2 victory.
With the doubleheader sweep, Western New England improves to 26-9 this season, including 11-3 in conference play. Curry drops to 12-22 overall and 6-10 in league action.
Western New England 6, Curry 0
Freshman lefthander Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) got the start for the Golden Bears in the opener and continued his impressive rookie campaign, striking out five batters and surrendering just three hits over six shutout innings to improve to 6-1 this spring.
Freshman outfielder Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) staked Western New England to an early lead with a two-run single in the bottom of the first inning, providing Hamel with all of the offensive support that he would need.
The Golden Bears added three runs in the fourth, opening up a 5-0 lead in the process. Seniors Kevin Marciano (Pepperell, Mass.) and Eduardo Colmenares (Caracas, Venezuela) drove in two of the three runs with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, respectively.
Western New England capped the scoring in the sixth, as junior infielder Dan Morin (Salem, N.H.) plated Marciano with a two-out single to left field.
Marciano went 3-for-4 at the plate with one RBI and two runs, while Lacaire and Morin added two hits each.
Western New England 6, Curry 2
The Golden Bears came from behind to take game two and earn the doubleheader sweep, scoring one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the sixth.
Senior righthander David Cherry (Southbury, Conn.) made his seventh start of the season on the mound and improved to 6-1 after tossing five innings and allowing two runs on five hits. Junior Matt Thomas (Plainville, Conn.), who took over for Cherry in the sixth with the Golden Bears leading 3-2, recorded the final six outs to earn his first save of the spring.
Curry struck first, claiming a 2-0 advantage in the third on an RBI triple by senior Kyle Connors (Stoughton, Mass.) and an RBI single by sophomore Zach Bowden (Taunton, Mass.).
After being held to just one hit over the first three frames by Curry starting pitcher Brian Burke (Swampscott, Mass.), the Western New England offense produced one run on three hits in the fourth. Colmenares led off with a single, and senior Doug Milne (Nesconset, N.Y.) walked before a single by Morin loaded the bases. Lacaire came up next and got the Golden Bears on the board with an RBI single to left field, but Western New England left the bases loaded.
The Golden Bears then pulled ahead in the fifth, when Milne recorded an RBI double and Morin followed with a sacrifice fly.
Western New England wrapped up the scoring with three insurance runs in the sixth. Freshman Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) led off and reached base on an error, and he was quickly plated on classmate Ben LaCroix's (Branford, Conn.) RBI triple to right center. Senior catcher Matt Calzone (Middlebury, Conn.) followed with an RBI single, and Colmenares added an RBI double later in the inning.
Colmenares led the way at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double and two runs, while LaCroix turned in a 2-for-3 effort.
Cherry retired the last six batters he faced in order, and Thomas closed the door on the Colonels to complete the sweep.
Western New England closes out its CCC schedule tomorrow morning with a pivotal doubleheader at Salve Regina. The Golden Bears and Seahawks are currently second and third, respectively, in the conference standings. Western New England still has an opportunity to claim the top seed in next week's CCC Tournament with a sweep. Senior lefthander Tom Mahoney (Granville, Mass.) and junior righty Andrew Mulvey (Bristol, R.I.) are scheduled to start for the Golden Bears. First pitch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Reynolds Field.