SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – No. 20 Endicott split a Saturday road doubleheader with Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) rival Western New Eng. at Trelease Park, dropping game one 6-1 before salvaging the split with a 9-5 win in game two.
GAME ONE: Western New Eng. 6, No. 20 Endicott 1
Western New Eng. scored twice in the bottom of the third to go up 2-1 and added four more runs in the bottom of the fourth to lead the Golden Bears to a 6-1 game one victory over No. 20 Endicott.
Endicott held a 1-0 lead after sophomore catcher Brendan McDonald (Quincy, Mass.) hit a RBI single to left to plate senior second baseman Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.). The Gulls held the lead until the bottom of the third when Western New Eng. junior outfielder Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) drove home two runs on a single to left, plating junior Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) and sophomore Kevin Johnson (Waterford, Conn.).
With a 2-1 advantage, the Golden Bears lineup tacked on four more as junior outfielder Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.) singled home junior Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) to make it a 3-1 Western New Eng. lead. With the bases loaded, freshman Sebby Grignano (Meriden, Conn.) and Loparco earned RBI walks and a passed ball later in the inning allowed another run to cross home plate to cap off the scoring.
Golden Bears junior starter Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) pitched a complete game for the win (2-0) as he allowed only one earned run on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Endicott starter Will Ferreira (Nantucket, Mass.) took the loss (3-2) after going 3 2/3 IP and allowing six runs, three earned, on four hits and five walks. He struck out two.
GAME TWO: No. 20 Endicott 9, Western New Eng. 5
In game two, the top of the Gulls lineup combined to go 4-for-7 with four runs scored and four RBIs as the No. 20 ranked Endicott defeated Western New Eng. 9-5.
Freshman outfielder and leadoff man Christian Jordan (Holden, Mass.) went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs while DeDonato, batting over .400 on the season, went 2-for-4 with a run scored, two RBIs, and a stolen base.
Endicott trailed game two 3-0 after the bottom of the first but scored seven runs over the next three innings, including four in the top of the third to take command of the game. In that crucial top of the third trip to the plate, Endicott scored four unearned runs – two came on Golden Bear errors while the other two were via an infield RBI single by DeDonato and a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of freshman Kyle Brennan (Wallingford, Conn.).
Providing a spark offensively in the eighth spot in the lineup was junior outfielder Dan Cacciola (Saugus, Mass.) who, as he's done all season, managed to reach base and wreak havoc on the base paths with three runs scored and two stolen bases.
On the bump, sophomore reliever Alexander Mandrus (Acton, Mass.) pitched 4 2/3 innings in relief of starter Joseph Brown (Poultney, Vt.) and was effective with one earned run allowed on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Mandrus earned the win, his third of the 2018 season.
For Western New Eng., starting pitcher Paul Wetmore (Hamden, Conn.) took the loss (4-2) after tossing 5 1/3 innings with nine runs allowed, four earned, on seven hits and two walks. He struck out three batters. Lacaire finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI while LaCroix had two RBIs on two sacrifice flies.
No. 20 Endicott (17-6, 5-3 CCC) hits the road to finish their home-and-home series with St. Joseph's (Maine) on Tuesday, April 17 with a 4:00 PM first pitch. Endicott beat St. Joseph's (Maine) 5-4 last Tuesday at North Field. Western New Eng. (19-5, 5-1 CCC) visits CCC foe Roger Williams on Sunday for a doubleheader starting at noon.
(Photo Credit - David Le '10)