WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomore right-hander Connor Root (Nashua, N.H./Nashua North HS) pitched seven scoreless innings of relief and freshman DH Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS) ended a 13-inning marathon with a game-winning sacrifice fly as Bentley University edged Le Moyne College, 4-3, in the second half of a non-divisional Northeast-10 Conference baseball doubleheader Sunday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
The win capped a 4-0 week for the Falcons, who rode the complete game pitching of senior righty JP Ashline (Clinton/Acton-Boxboro Reg. HS) to a 2-1 victory in the opener.
In the bottom of the 13th, after Root escaped a second-and-third with one out situation in the top half of the inning, senior catcher Kevin Korwek (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) led off with a four-pitch walk. Junior shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) hit into a fielder's choice, replacing Korwek on the bases.
It was a productive exchange as Brennan stole second and third, the latter on a walk to junior third baseman Nate Witkowski (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS), and raced home from third with the game-winner on Rocha's fly ball to left.
Single runs by Le Moyne in the second, third and fourth innings gave the visiting Dolphins a 3-0 lead, but it didn't take the Falcons long to match the three runs on the scoreboard. In the bottom of the fourth, Bentley loaded the bases on two walks and a Korwek single, and Witkowski cleared them with one swing of the bat, a three-run double to left. The three RBI gave him a total of eight during the Falcons' 4-0 weekend.
Those would be the last runs scored until the 13th, although there were several opportunities, mostly on the part of Le Moyne, which outhit the Falcons 15-6 and stranded 17 on base. Bentley had the winning run on third with two out in the 12th while the Dolphins had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth, in addition to the threat in the 13th.
Root, who notched his second win of the season, allowed only four hits during his seven innings while striking out eight and walking three. He came on in relief of sophomore lefty Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport/Newburyport HS), who survived 11 hits in his six innings and finished his day with back-to-back strikeouts with the bases loaded in the sixth.
Korwek and Brennan each had two hits for Bentley while six different players had two for Le Moyne (10-17).
In the opener, Ashline scattered seven singles and struck out four while improving to 3-1 on the season. He withstood a threat in the seventh when Le Moyne had runners on second and third with one out, and retired the final eight batters he faced.
Both Bentley runs were scored in the fifth, with the inning ignited by a Korwek single to left. Brennan followed with another single to left and a wild pitch put both in scoring position. A single to right, just beyond the reach of senior Kody O'Connor (Mexico, N.Y.), by Witkowski plated Korwek with the first run, and Brennan scored on a single to left by Rocha, which again fell just out of the reach of the fielder.
Le Moyne cut the lead in half in the sixth. Senior third baseman Zack Wiley (Toluca Woods, Calif.) singled, stole second and scored on a single to left by DH Matt Ciraco (White Plains, N.Y.).
Bentley's six hits in the opener included two by senior second baseman Logan Gillis (Merrimack, N.H./Lawrence Academy).
The Falcons, 13-14 after winning six of their last seven, will be back in action Wednesday with a 3:30 game at Stonehill College.