EASTON, Mass. – Behind the pitching of graduate student Bill Sullivan (Carver/Carver HS), the Bentley University Falcons came from behind to post a 4-2 win over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference baseball action at Lou Gorman Field Wednesday afternoon.
With the win, Bentley moved into fourth place in the conference's Northeast Division, captured the season series and tie-breaker against Stonehill (2-1) and lowered its magic number for qualifying for an NE10 postseason berth to one. A loss to the Skyhawks would have eliminated the Falcons from playoff consideration.
Sullivan, the conference leader in starts (11), innings (85.1) and complete games, went the distance for the fourth time this season. He struck out nine (pushing his season total to 78, tied for second in the NE10 and second in program history), walked two and yielded six hits while notching his sixth win in 11 decisions.
The only two runs allowed by Sullivan and Bentley were scored in the third inning on RBI singles by senior left fielder Ben Monte (New Haven, Conn.) and sophomore first baseman Harrison Sabo (Wilton, Conn.).
Bentley (10-27, 8-10 NE10 Northeast) got on the board in the top of the fifth, the first of three straight innings the visitors scored in. Sophomore right fielder Austin Farry (Watertown/Watertown HS) and freshman catcher Christopher Butler (Danvers/BB&N) opened the inning with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice, Farry scored on the fourth sacrifice fly of the season hit by senior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Reg. HS).
A one-out single by freshman first baseman Ryan Berardino (Sudbury/Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) got the Falcons started in the sixth. Freshman DH Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) followed with a double to right and Berardino scored on a ground ball to second, junior third baseman Peter Bocchino (Saugus/The Governors' Academy) picking up the RBI.
Sophomore left fielder Gino Fordiani (Sudbury/Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) opened the seventh with a double down the left field line. After a ground out, freshman center fielder Luke Figueira (Taunton/Taunton HS) hit a ball in the same direction, driving in Fordiani with the go-ahead run. He advanced on the throw, moved to third on a ground out and scored the Falcons' fourth run on the third hit of the game by Berardino, who elevated his average to an impressive .387.
Stonehill (15-27, 9-12 NE10 Northeast) threatened twice after Bentley jumped in front, with a two-out triple in the seventh and runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth. Both times, Sullivan came up with an inning-ending strikeout.
In addition to the three by Berardino, Bentley's ten hits included two by Fordiani. Stonehill freshman center fielder John Orzechowski (Monroe, Conn.), 3-for-4 at the plate, had half of his team's hits.
Bentley will close out the regular season with a three-game series at Assumption College. The two will play Thursday at 3:30, Saturday at 1 and Sunday at 1.