SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College baseball team suffered a pair of 7-1 setbacks at Western New England Saturday afternoon to open league play.
The Lions dip to 12-9 on the season and 0-2 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the losses. The Golden Bears, who are receiving votes in the latest D3Baseball.com National Poll, improve to 12-4 overall and 2-0 in conference action.
Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) finished with four base hits, three stolen bases, one RBI and one run scored on the day.
In game one, Western New England knocked in seven runs in the first two innings to roll to a 7-1 win.
The hosts plated four runs in the bottom of the first to race out to a 4-0 lead. Kevin Marciano roped a triple down the right field line to drive in Alex Loparco from second base. With the bases loaded, Daniel Morin singled to right-center to plate Marciano before Erik Lacaire drew a walk. Jared Rosenblatt hoisted a sacrifice fly to center to allow Eduardo Colmenares to tag up and scurry home.
The Golden Bears tacked on three runs in the second to widen the margin to 7-0. Morin and Lacaire each landed RBI singles in the inning while Ben LaCroix picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Eastern Nazarene got on the board in the sixth to cut the deficit to 7-1. Jeremy Wagner crossed the dish on a throwing error as he swiped third base.
Brent Houle (Westfield, Mass.) tossed two innings and recorded two strikeouts in his fifth start. Ragan Cole (Alamogordo, N.M.) hurled three scoreless innings of relief with one strikeout. Connor Simpson (Haverhill, Mass.) worked a 1-2-3 inning in his fourth relief outing of the spring.
In the nightcap, Western New England repeated game one's result with another 7-1 victory.
The Lions seized a 1-0 edge in the top of the third inning. Jeremy Wagner knocked in his ninth RBI of the spring as he laced a single to center to plate Zachary Carmody (Babylon, N.Y.) from second base.
The home side manufactured four runs in the bottom of the frame to capture a 4-1 lead. Colmenares singled to left to drive in Matt Calzone from second before Morin raked a bases-clearing triple to deliver three RBIs.
The Golden Bears added three runs in the fifth to stretch their advantage to 7-1. Doug Milne doubled to left-center to score Marciano and Morin followed with a two-run home run to left to cap off the scoring.
Cameron Fiorentino (Uxbridge, Mass.) finished with five strikeouts in five innings of action while allowing three earned runs. Kenny Sorensen (Quincy, Mass.) retired all three batters he faced in one inning of relief.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene steps out of conference play to face off against Lasell April 12.