COLCHESTER, Vt. – Bentley University junior right-hander John Yohe (Merrick, N.Y./St. Dominic HS) pitched a two-hit shutout and struck out 11, tying his career-high, as the Falcons opened a three-game weekend series at St. Michael's College with a 4-0 win in Northeast-10 Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at Doc Jacobs Field.
Bentley's fifth victory in its last six games boosted coach Bob DeFelice's team, the fifth ranked team in the NCAA Division II East Region, to 24-20 overall, 24-11 against the East and 9-6 in the Northeast Division, good for third place.
Neither of the hits allowed by Yohe left the infield. Sophomore right fielder Nick Nelson (Spofford, N.H.) led off the bottom of the first with a hard-hit ball toward the middle of the infield. Falcon sophomore shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) knocked it down, but Nelson beat the throw to first.
That would be the only Purple Knight hit until there was one down in the ninth, when left-handed swinging sophomore first baseman Alec Tice (Chelmsford, Mass.) slapped a grounder down the third base line that struck the bag.
Yohe, after giving up the leadoff hit to Nelson, retired the next 16 batters he faced before issuing two walks back-to-back in the sixth. Those were the only free passes issued by Yohe, who needed only 109 pitches to even his record at 5-5 and post his second career shutout
Yohe was staked to a four-run lead before taking the mound for the first time as all of the game's scoring came in the top of the first, with the big blow being a two-run homer by grad student Bryant Johnson (Hopedale, Mass./Milford HS), his fourth of the year.
Sophomore left fielder Sean Keady (Norwood, Mass./Norwood HS) led off the game with a walk and stole second. Freshman center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater, Mass./Xaverian Bros. HS) attempted to sacrifice, but the play was made to third, with the ball sailing into left with Keady coming home with the first run. After Muir stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch, senior catcher Kevin Korwek (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) doubled to left, making it a 2-0 game.
Following the second out of the inning, Johnson drove the ball over the right field fence for a 4-0 Falcon lead. As a result of the error on the attempted sacrifice, three of the four runs were unearned.
Freshman righty Will Corkum (Ipswich, Mass.) settled down after the first and kept the Falcons in check until leaving the game after seven. Senior righty Jesse Sullivan (Saugus, Mass.) came on to pitch the final two for St. Michael's (9-26, 2-14).
Bentley finished with eight hits, including two apiece by Keady and Muir on a very cold afternoon (25 degree wind chill).
The two teams will be back on the same field Saturday for a doubleheader starting at noon.