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Baseball Uses Pair of Walk-Off Wins to Sweep Western New England

Baseball Uses Pair of Walk-Off Wins to Sweep Western New England

BROCKTON, Mass. – Junior Ross Golebiewski (Lyme, Conn.) hit a two-run double with two outs in the last of the seventh inning to give the Wentworth Institute of Technology baseball team a 6-5 win over Western New England in the first game of a Commonwealth Coast Conference doubleheader. In the nightcap, the Leopards provided more magic as freshman Kyle Litwin's (Jacksonville, Fla.) bases-loaded squeeze gave Wentworth a 6-5 win over the Golden Bears. The sweep marked the first time in program history Wentworth has swept a doubleheader from Western New England.

GAME ONE:  Wentworth 6, Western New England 5
Western New England got on the board first, scoring once in the top of the first inning without recording a hit. With one out, juniors Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.), Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.), and Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) each drew walks and classmate Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) hit a sacrifice fly to score Loparco. Wentworth countered in the home half of the inning as sophomore Owen Swanson (New Milford, Conn.) walked and went to second on a freshman Aidan French (Chicago, Ill.) sacrifice bunt. Senior Tyler Weninger (Chandler, Ariz.) doubled in Swanson and went to third on a groundout by senior Tim Elrick (Plymouth, Mass.), however, a strikeout ended the inning with the score tied.

The top of the third inning saw the Golden Bears score three times to take a 4-1 lead. Cassella and LaCroix were each hit by pitches and senior Jared Rosenblatt (Avon, Conn.) walked to load the bases. Junior Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) reached on a fielder's choice to score Cassella and a sophomore Jamie Schofield (Darien, Conn.) single scored LaCroix. Sophomore Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.) walked to load the bases and Loparco was hit by a pitch which scored Valeriano. The Leopards scored a run in the bottom of the third to make it 4-2. French was hit by a pitch with one out and stole second before advancing to third on a passed ball. Weninger brought him home with a groundout. Two innings later, Weninger recorded his 100th career RBI when he drew a bases-loaded walk to score senior Bryon Kucharski (East Haven, Conn.) and make it 4-3.

Western New England increased its lead to 5-3 in the sixth inning as LaCroix led off with a single and went to second when Rosenblatt was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Valeriano brought LaCroix home with a sacrifice fly. In the bottom half of the inning, Wentworth had runners at first and third, however, a strikeout and groundout ended the threat and kept it a 5-3 game.

After the Golden Bears stranded a pair of runners in the top of the seventh, French led off with a single and went to second on a throwing error, which allowed Weninger to reach on a fielder's choice. Elrick sacrificed both runners up a base and junior Andrew Elliott (Rockland, Mass.) delivered a single which scored French. However, Weninger was thrown out trying to score on the play. Sophomore Dan Mitchell (Avon, Mass.) came on to pinch run for Elliott and went to third on a junior Jake Smith (Orange, Conn.) single, which set the stage for Golebiewski to hit a double to right to give the hosts a 6-5 win.

Junior Mike Callagee (Emerson, N.J.) got the win (2-3) as he yielded just one hit in 1.1 innings of work. Classmate Ben Rexford (Lancaster, N.H.) allowed one run on four hits and struck out three in 3.2 innings of relief of senior starter Robby Sheldon (Dover, N.H.), who allowed four runs over two-plus innings. Golebiewski went 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Elliott and Smith had a pair of hits and Weninger drove in three.

GAME TWO:  Wentworth 6, Western New England 5 (8)
The game began as a pitcher's duel between Wentworth freshman Nate McDonald (Durham, Conn.) and Western New England senior Jake Kawiecki (Burlington, Conn.) as each kept the opposing team off the board for the first three and a half innings before Wentworth took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. A one-out single from French allowed him to steal second with two outs and move to third on an Elrick single. Elliott drove in both with a double.

In the fifth inning, Wentworth nearly added to its lead, however, the hosts left the bases loaded. An inning later, the Black & Gold capitalized as Elrick led off with a double and went to third on an Elliott groundout. Smith made it 3-0 with an RBI single.

Western New England came back to tie the game in the top of the seventh as Lacaire led off with a double and scored on a Rosenblatt double. Nussbaum followed with a double which moved Rosenblatt to third and, with one out, junior Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) scored Rosenblatt with a sacrifice fly. Freshman Jackson Lathrop (New Fairfield, Conn.), who had come on as a pinch runner, scored on a passed ball to even the score at 3-all. The Golden Bears left a pair of runners on to end the inning.

After Wentworth was unable to win the game in the bottom of the seventh, the Golden Bears scored twice in the top of the eighth to take a 5-3 lead. Cassella led off with a double and scored when Lacaire's sacrifice attempt was thrown away, also allowing him to go to third. Freshman Sebby Grignano (Meriden, Conn.) squeezed Lacaire home for the two-run advantage.

French led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and went to second when Elrick drew a one-out walk. An infield single by Elliott loaded the bases and Smith reached on an error which scored French and Elrick. Golebiewski reached on a fielder's choice when Smith advanced to second on an error which also allowed Mitchell, who came on to pinch run for Elliott, to move to third. Litwin capped off the heroics when he laid down a bunt as French was breaking for home with the winning run.

Freshman Brendan Winch (Bow, N.H.) picked up the win (2-1) as he allowed a pair of unearned runs on two hits in 1.1 innings of relief of sophomore Caleb Eaton (East Hampstead, N.H.). Eaton allowed one run on one hit in two-thirds of an inning. McDonald pitched the first six-plus innings, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out three. French, Elrick, and Elliott each had a pair of hits with Smith and Elliott driving in three and two runs, respectively.

Sophomore Jeff Zebrowski (South Hadley, Mass.) took the loss (0-2), allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits in 1.1 innings of work. Kawiecki pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out three. Rosenblatt and Valeriano had two hits apiece for Western New England.

Wentworth (10-13, 5-7 CCC) is at Babson on Tuesday.

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