WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomore shortstop Chris Hopkins (Malden/Malden Catholic HS) drove in four runs and junior righty Luke Dawson (Stamford, Conn./Westhill HS) authored a five-hit, 12-strikeout shutout, helping Bentley University claim its fourth straight win and climb over .500 for the season with a 12-0 win over St. Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
Bentley, 12-6 since March 5, improved to 13-12 overall and 3-3 in divisional play after taking the first of a three-game series that was moved from Vermont to Waltham for weather reasons. St. Michael's dropped to 5-19 overall and 1-16 in the division.
It didn't take the Falcons long to establish control. Batting as the visiting team due to the site relocation, Bentley scored three times in the top of the first. Sophomore center fielder Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) hit a two-out homer to left, sophomore designated hitter Ryan Berardino (Sudbury/ Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) and junior first baseman Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) followed with back-to-back singles, and Hopkins delivered both with a double to right.
Bentley broke the game wide open in the seventh, scoring six times for a 10-0 lead. Grover's bases-loaded single brought in the first run and Hopkins followed with a two-run single to right. The other three runs in the inning scored on a single to right by graduate catcher Nathan Littman (Abington/Abington HS), a ground out from sophomore left fielder Luke Figueira (Taunton/Taunton HS) and a single to right by junior right fielder Austin Farry (Watertown/Watertown HS).
Farry and senior third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N) both picked up RBIs on fielder's choice plays in the ninth.
Bentley's 16-hit attack included three apiece by Grover, who scored three times, and Littman. Hopkins, Berardino, Farry and freshman second baseman Charlie Auditore (Walpole/Walpole HS) each had a pair of hits for the Falcons.
Dawson, who took over the conference strikeout lead with 69 in 52 innings, improved to 4-2 on the season. He walked only two and allowed just one base runner to reach third. That came in the fourth when he struck out the side after the Purple Knights opened with a walk and a double.
The three-game series will conclude Saturday with a noon doubleheader on DeFelice Field.