WINTER PARK, Fla. – Back-to-back doubles to right by senior Nate Witkowski (Melrose, Mass./Malden Catholic HS) and freshman Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS) to lead off the bottom of the tenth inning gave Bentley University a come-from-behind 5-4 win over St. Thomas Aquinas College Tuesday afternoon at Rollins College's Alfond Stadium.
Bentley's season-high 14-hit attack was powered by Witkowski, who finished three-for-five with two runs scored and two RBI. Included was an RBI triple during a two-run eighth that tied the game at 4-4.
The Falcons, 1-5, jumped on top early with two runs in the bottom of the first. Senior outfielder Sean Keady (Norwood, Mass./Norwood HS) led off with a double to center, the first of four straight hits to open the game and one of five extra-base hits for coach Bob DeFelice's team.
Junior outfielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater, Mass./Xaverian Bros. HS) followed with a single through the left side, putting runners on the corners. Senior shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) plated Keady with a single up the middle and Muir later scored on a grounder to short by Witkowski.
St. Thomas Aquinas (3-1) matched Bentley's two runs in its next at bat and added single runs in the third and fourth to go up 4-2.
In the eighth, after the Spartans went to the bullpen, Bentley sophomore catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth HS) reached on a one-out error and Witkowski followed with his triple to center. Following a hit batter and another pitching change, Witkowski scored the game-tying run on a wild pitch.
In addition to the three hits from Witkowski, Bentley received two apiece from Brennan, Keady and senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS).
Junior right-hander Connor Root (Nashua, N.H./Nashua HS North) earned the win with four innings of two-hit scoreless relief. He didn't issue a walk, struck out two and needed only 41 pitches. Sophomore righty Will Alden (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) was also solid out of the pen for the Falcons, giving up just one hit and one run while keeping the Falcons close in the middle innings.
Bentley, after an off-day on Wednesday, will be back at Rollins on Thursday for the start of a three-game series against the University of Bridgeport. First pitch is set for 2 pm.