NORTHFIELD, Vt. (4/29/17) -- The Lasell College baseball team swept its penultimate doubleheader of the regular season and clinched third place in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) standings on Saturday, downing the host Cadets of Norwich University by 9-7 and 3-1 scores at Garrity Field.
Senior left fielder Brandon Valentin (Meriden, Conn.) set Lasell's single-season home run record with his fourth and fifth of the season in the opener, as he went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI.
Additionally, graduate right fielder Skylar Beckerman (Pensacola, Fla.) finished the day with three hits, including a double, and two runs scored. On the mound, sophomores Daniel Petr (East Haven, Conn.) and Justin Webb (San Diego, Calif.) earned victories, while senior Hector Coscione (Newton, Mass.) posted saves in both games.
Lasell improves to 12-14 overall with the victories, while it enters the final day of the regular season with an 8-4 league mark. Norwich awaits Sunday's results for a potential postseason bid as it stands 12-23 overall and 6-8 in GNAC play.
Game 1: Lasell 9, Norwich 7
Valentin got the Lasers out to a quick start as his first home run of the ballgame cleared the fence in center field just two batters in, while a passed ball and sophomore third baseman Andre Marchesseault's (Cheshire, Conn.) sacrifice fly to right doubled the score to 2-0 two innings later.
Petr did not allow a hit over the first two innings, but the Cadets turned the score around in a hurry in the bottom of the third with four, two-out runs on four hits and an error. Sophomore shortstop Mike Lesco (Somers, Conn.) opened the Norwich scoring with an RBI infield single and senior third baseman Matt Sirois (Southington, Conn.) cleared the bases with a three-run homer to left-center field.
The Lasers used a three-run fourth to take the lead back as sophomore center fielder Evan Michalek (Berlin, Conn.) and Coscione, who started at shortstop, both walked in front of Valentin, who knocked the record-breaking homer out to right-center field.
From there, the Cadets could not muster any more offense against Petr who struck out two batters and allowed just four hits over his 4.2 innings of work to improve to 3-3 on the season.
The teams played scoreless ball over the next two frames, until the teams traded three-run outputs in the seventh. After Coscione drew a leadoff walk and moved across the diamond on Valentin's single through the left side, sophomore second baseman David Marsell (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) drove in two more Lasell runs with a base hit to right. Catcher Robert Cutone (Tewksbury, Mass.) then singled to center.
Norwich was down to its final out before three straight singles brought the score within two runs. Coscione moved onto the mound and recorded his second save of the season, relieving both senior Casey Johnson (Windsor, Conn.) and freshman Lorenzo Davis (East Haven, Conn.).
Sirois was one of three Norwich players with two-hit games in the opener, while senior Kaleb Smith (Dover Foxcroft, Maine) was dealt the loss after allowing five earned runs on five hits and four walks over five innings.
Game 2: Lasell 3, Norwich 1
The Cadets grabbed their only run of the ballgame against Lasell senior starter Matt Haskell (Wallingford, Conn.) in the third inning as Sirois hit his second homer in as many games to left field. The run came after Norwich loaded the bases and did not score in the second.
Lasell manufactured a fifth-inning run to tie the game at 1-1 as Cutone singled to left field and advanced all the way home via three consecutive sacrifice bunts, with Coscione delivering the RBI. Junior first baseman Dom Mascolo (Waterbury, Conn.) turned the score the Lasers' way in the sixth as his fourth home run of the season brought Beckerman home after a leadoff single.
Webb tossed a strikeout during a scoreless fourth inning of work to earn his first win of the season, while Davis recorded the next two outs, and Coscione allowed just one hit and one walk over the final 2.1 to clinch the victory.
Norwich left eight runners on base in the ballgame, including two in the fifth, one in the sixth, and two in the seventh. Freshman Andrew Fisher (Tewksbury, Mass.) took the loss for the hosts, despite allowing just three runs on six hits over 6.1 innings.
The Lasers conclude the regular season on Sunday, April 30 at Albertus Magnus. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. in New Haven, Conn.