LOWELL, Mass. – Junior right-hander Garrett Cole (Bedford, N.H.) limited Bentley University to two hits over eight innings and senior righty Mike Sloban (Merrimac) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth as UMass-Lowell blanked the visiting Falcons, 8-0, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Sunday afternoon at LeLacheur Park.
The loss was the fourth straight for the Falcons, who finish the regular season 26-20 overall, 17-10 NE-10 and 13-8 in the division. Despite the rough finish, Bentley is the number two seed out of the Northeast Division for the conference playoffs and will host a first-round game against Southern New Hampshire Tuesday at 2 pm.
Despite a three-game sweep of the Falcons, UMass-Lowell (30-19, 11-10 division) saw its hopes of a conference playoff berth end when Merrimack topped Stonehill on Sunday.
A two-run homer by senior third baseman James Katsiroubas (Milton) in the bottom of the third gave Cole all the offensive support that he would need, but the River Hawks weren't done swinging the bats.
UMass-Lowell added a single run in the fourth without the ball leaving the infield, and broke the contest open with four runs in the fifth. Two sophomores from Florida, catcher Jacob O'Keefe (Wellington, Fla.) and center fielder Geoff DeGroot (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) each had two-run singles in that frame.
A sacrifice fly by sophomore DH Sam Johnson (Wakefield, R.I.) in the eighth closed out the scoring.
Cole struck out six and walked only one during his eight innings of work. He didn't allow a runner past second, and had only one inning in which he faced more than four batters.
UMass-Lowell totaled 14 hits, including a five-for-five game from DeGroot.