WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior Derrick Sylvester threw a complete game as No. 14 Southern New Hampshire defeated Bentley University 6-3 Friday afternoon in the first game of three-gameNortheast-10 Northeast Division series at DeFelice Field.
Sophomore catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS) had a 3-for-4 day for the Falcons and senior third baseman Nate Witkowski (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS) collected two hits, but Bentley's five-game winning streak was snapped in the home and divisional opener.
The Penmen jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Freshman shortstop Manny Cruz set the inning up with a one-out triple, and was driven in by third baseman Riley Palmer two batters later.
SNHU plated two more runs in the top of the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Cruz and an RBI single to left by leftfielder Al Stanton, extending the lead to 3-0.
Bentley's Will Alden (Westford/Westford Academy) pitched 4.2 innings of effective relief to keep them in the game, but the Falcons were unable to get to Sylvester until the later innings.
Southern added two more runs in the eighth before the Falcons got on the board in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI double by freshman second baseman Burton Deady (Andover/Andover HS) that scored freshman Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS) from first.
With Southern leading 6-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Bentley loaded the bases against Sylvester and brought two runs across. With two outs, Rocha singled in centerfielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Brothers). One batter later, leftfielder Sean Keady (Norwood/Norwood) brought Witkowski in with a base hit. However, Sylvester retired the next batter to get out of the jam and give SNHU the victory.
Bentley's record dropped to 6-8 overall and 0-1 in the NE-10 Northeast, while the Penmen improved to 17-5 and 2-0 in the division. These two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday, with the first game set to begin at 10:00 am. (a change from the originally scheduled 12 noon start).