Witkowski Drives in 4 and Scores 4 as Bentley Sweeps Saint Rose, 10-1 and 8-5

Nate Witkowski
Nate Witkowski

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior third baseman Nate Witkowski (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS) had two RBI and two runs scored in each game as Bentley University swept The College of Saint Rose, 10-1 and 8-5, in non-divisional Northeast-10 Conference baseball Saturday afternoon at DeFelice Field.

The Falcons, 11-14 overall, rode the nine-strikeout pitching of senior right-hander Jeff Croteau (Auburn/Auburn HS) in the opener and overcame a 5-0 deficit with an eight-run seventh in the nightcap, with seven of the eight runs unearned.

In game one, Bentley grabbed the early lead with one in the first, two in the second and three in the third inning. Junior center fielder Sean Keady (Norwood/Norwood HS) beat out an infield single to start the first, stole second, took third on a single by freshman first baseman Evan Mondor (Rehoboth/ Dighton-Rehoboth HS) and stole home on the front end of a double steal for the game's first run.

The second inning saw junior shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) lead off with a triple to second and score on Witkowski's grounder to short. Later in the inning, Witkowski, who had reached on an error, scored on Keady's triple to center.

In the third, junior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS) had an RBI double before scoring on an error, and freshman DH Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) also had an RBI double.

Bentley added to its lead with a two-RBI double by Rocha in the sixth, an RBI double by Witkowski in the seventh and an RBI single by junior left fielder Dante Padovani (Lynnfield/Lynnfield HS) later in the inning.

Croteau allowed only five hits while becoming the third NE-10 pitcher to record five wins this season. His teammates supported him with 16 hits with everyone in the lineup having at least one.

The nightcap saw Saint Rose (4-25) open a 5-0 lead by scoring twice in the fifth and three times in the seventh. Bentley senior right-hander John Yohe (Merrick, N.Y./St. Dominic HS), who became the program's all-time leader with 37 career starts, left the mound facing the five-run deficit but received credit for his first win of the season after his teammates erupted in the bottom of the seventh, with the help of two Golden Knight errors.

Witkowski and Rocha got things started with a walk and a single. A Saint Rose error allowed Padovani to reach and loaded the bases with no outs. Keady bounced into a fielder's choice, with Witkowski scoring the Falcons' first run. Mondor drew a walk to re-load the bases and senior second baseman Logan Gillis (Merrimack, N.H./Lawrence Academy) followed with an RBI single to left, making it a 5-2 game.

Keady scored on an error to cut the deficit to two runs, and Brennan followed with a two-run single to center to even the count at five apiece. A two-run triple to left center by Witkowski put Bentley in front, and he came in with an insurance run on a double to left by Rocha.

Junior pitcher Scott Lueders (Mansfield/Newton South HS) earned the save with two innings of scoreless relief, including a double play after entering the contest with two on and no out.

Bentley, which had 25 hits in the two games, received five from Keady (along with three steals) and four from both Brennan and Rocha. Eight different players had at least one RBI for a Falcon team that had a .434 on base percentage in the doubleheader.

Bentley will be back on DeFelice Field Sunday for a noon doubleheader against Le Moyne College.