SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (May 5, 2016) – Senior right-handed pitcher David Cherry (Southbury, Conn.) struck out nine batters in his fifth complete game performance of the season, leading the top-seeded Western New England University baseball team to a 3-2 victory over sixth-seeded Curry College on the first day of the 2016 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament this afternoon at Trelease Park.
Western New England (29-9) will remain at home tomorrow to host third-seeded Nichols at 3 p.m., while Curry (12-23) hits the road for an elimination matchup at fifth-seeded Gordon.
Cherry, who was named the CCC Pitcher of the Year earlier this week, shut the Colonels out over the final six innings this afternoon after giving up a pair of early runs. The senior scattered six hits and walked three batters to go with his nine punchouts, improving to 7-1 this season with the win.
Curry junior catcher Nick Crivello (Millville, Mass.) drove in the game's first run on a fielder's choice in the top of the first inning, staking the visitors to an early lead. The Colonels then doubled their advantage in the third, as senior outfielder John Arens (Milton, Mass.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, before moving up to second on a sacrifice and scoring on junior Alex McLean's (Eliot, Maine) RBI single to left field.
Western New England broke through with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, however, to tie the score at 2-2. Freshman infielder Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.) led off with a double to left field, and the next two batters both reached to load the bases.
Senior captain Kevin Marciano (Pepperell, Mass.) came up next and delivered a single up the middle, plating Loparco and senior catcher Matt Calzone (Middlebury, Conn.), but the Golden Bears were unable to capitalize further, stranding a pair of runners on base.
The score remained tied over the next two innings, before Western New England took the lead for good with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Junior first baseman Daniel Morin (Salem, N.H.) got it started with a double to left field, while freshman outfielder Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.) came up next and laid down a sacrifice bunt.
Curry starting pitcher David Griffin (Hanover, Mass.) fielded the ball, spun, and attempted to retire Morin at third base, but his throw sailed over freshman Ben Lary's (Kennebunk, Maine) head and into foul territory, allowing Morin to score easily.
Cherry worked around a leadoff single in the seventh and a pair of walks in the eighth, before retiring the side in order in the ninth to seal Western New England's victory.
Griffin took the loss for the Colonels after surrendering all three runs, two of which were earned, on eight hits over eight innings of work. He also struck out five batters and walked four.
Marciano and Lacaire recorded two hits each for the Golden Bears, while Calzone walked three times and scored one run. (Game Recap Courtesy of Western New England Sports Information)
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