WALTHAM, Mass. – A two-out single to left by junior first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) scored junior third baseman Ken Fratus (Plymouth) with the tie-breaking run and propelled Stonehill College to a 4-3 15-inning victory over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division action Wednesday at DeFelice Field.
A rare error by Bentley junior shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) to start the 15th allowed Fratus to reach. A sacrifice and a grounder to second moved him to third before Pagano got him home with a bloop single.
It had been tied at 3-3 since a two-out Stonehill rally in the top of the ninth. With Bentley one out away from a come-from-behind win, sophomore left fielder Christian Baglini (Milford, Conn.), the Skyhawks' ninth hitter, kept the game alive with a double to right center. Freshman second baseman Chris Hoyt (Walpole) followed with a fly ball to left, which was lost in the sun and fell in for a double, allowing Baglini to score the tying run.
Bentley, down 2-0 after six-and-a-half, tied the game with two runs in the seventh. Senior catcher Kevin Korwek (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) got the inning going with a double to center. Back-to-back errors allowed him to score the Falcons first run, and Brennan scored the tying run on a ground out by junior third baseman Nate Witkowski (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS).
In the eighth, Bentley senior second baseman Logan Gillis (Merrimack, N.H./Lawrence Academy) delivered a one-out single up the middle. After a walk and a pitching change, Korwek singled through the right side, plating Gillis with the go-ahead run.
Both teams had chances after the Skyhawks evened the game at three apiece. Seven of Bentley's 15 runners left on base came after that point, with the Falcons 0-for-12 with runners on base after taking the lead in the eighth. Stonehill stranded five in extra innings, and a total of 13.
Sophomore righty Armand Rugel (Middletown, R.I.) gave the Skyhawks 7.2 innings of scoreless five-hit relief to notch his fourth win of the year, and Bentley received quality relief from junior righty Scott Lueders (Mansfield/Newton South HS), the tough-luck loser. He allowed only two hits and the one unearned run in 6.1 innings of work out of the pen.
Bentley, which was outhit 13-10, received three hits from Brennan and two from both Korwek and Gillis.
Senior center fielder James DeAlto (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) had three hits and two RBI for Stonehill, and he also tracked down an amazing 13 fly balls in the field.
The game was the Northeast divisional opener for both teams with Stonehill improving to 13-8 overall and the Falcons dropping to 7-13 after its fifth one-run loss of 20-13.
Bentley is scheduled to play a doubleheader at Saint Anselm Saturday, but field conditions could shift those games to DeFelice Field. Updates, when available, will be posted at www.bentleyfalcons.com.