WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior right-hander John Yohe (Merrick, N.Y./St. Dominic HS) took a four-hitter into the ninth and finished with a seven-hit complete game as Bentley University held off Southern New Hampshire University, 7-6, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
Bentley reached the 20-win plateau for the fifth time in six years, improving to 20-19 overall and 5-6 in Northeast Division games. The Falcons continued to experience success against NCAA Division II East Region opposition, improving to 20-11 in those contests. Southern New Hampshire, ranked sixth nationally in Division II, dropped to 33-7 overall, with all seven losses by one run, and 9-4 in the Northeast.
Bentley, taking advantage of the first two of four Penmen errors, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Sophomore left fielder Sean Keady (Norwood/Norwood HS) led off with a bunt single and freshman center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS) followed with a single through the left side. Junior second baseman Logan Gillis (Merrimack, N.H./Lawrence Academy) hit into a fielder's choice and replaced Muir on the bases, giving the Falcons runners on the corners.
Senior catcher Kevin Korwek (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) bounced to third, but the throw home was wild, allowing Keady to score the game's first run. Senior designated hitter Greg Baggett (East Bridgewater/East Bridgewater HS) flied out to right, but Gillis scored on the play when the catcher was unable to handle a perfect throw home.
Bentley picked up another unearned run in the fifth inning, junior first baseman Lamarre Rey (Lynn/Pingree School) scoring on a single by Keady after walking and moving to third on an error.
SNHU pulled within one with two runs in the seventh inning. Senior DH Kevin Spatkowski (Bristol, Conn.) reached on an error and scored the first Penmen run on a double to left by junior shortstop Matt Boulter (Wrentham). Following a strikeout, an RBI single by sophomore second baseman Jamie Wollerman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) plated Boulter and made it a one-run game. Yohe escaped further trouble with a double play started by Gillis.
Bentley added three runs in the bottom of the eighth, and as it turned out, all three were needed. A bases-loaded ground out to short by Korwek made it 4-2, and Baggett followed with a two-run single to right.
Four batters into the top of the ninth, Southern New Hampshire had two runs in and the tying runs on base. A sacrifice bunt put both in scoring position and a grounder to Rey brought in Boulter from third, making it a one-run game. With two outs and the tying run only 90 feet away, Yohe got junior right fielder Jon Minucci (Madison, Conn.) to ground to short, with sophomore shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) making an outstanding play to just get Minucci at first and lock up the win.
A strong defensive performance was a key reason the Falcons were able to come away with the win. Bentley turned three double plays and Rey sparkled around the first place bag, making a diving catch in the sixth, coming up with a nice scoop to finish an eighth-inning double play and dove to the base to get the out after fielding a ground ball in the ninth.
Keady was the only Falcon to have more than one hit as he was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. Yohe, with his fifth complete game and second straight victory, improved to 4-5 on the year. He walked two, struck out one and needed only 105 pitches. Senior righty Brad Monroe (Hampton, N.H.), who came in with a 6-2 record, took the loss after allowing six hits and six runs (two earned) in 7.2 innings.
The two teams will be back on DeFelice Field Saturday for a 12 noon doubleheader.