WALTHAM, Mass. – Outstanding pitching by starters Ryan O'Connor (Newburport/ Newburyport HS) and David Long (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield HS), along with relievers Connor Root (Nashua, N.H./Nashua HS North) and Ray Rowell (Wellfleet/Nauset Reg. HS), led Bentley University to a doubleheader sweep of 14th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University, 3-1 and 2-1, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Saturday at DeFelice Field.
The sweep gave Bentley seven wins in its last eight contests and evened the Falcons overall record at 8-8 (2-1 Northeast). Southern New Hampshire slipped to 17-7 overall and 2-2 in the division.
In the opener, O'Connor, a junior lefty coming off a five-hit shutout against LIU Post, scattered seven hits and struck out nine without a walk. He saw his scoreless streak halted at 15 innings when the Penmen punched across a run in the seventh. Root, a junior righty, pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
Long, a junior lefty, earned his second win of the spring after allowing two hits and one unearned run in five innings. He walked three and struck out four before giving way to Rowell, a freshman lefty. Rowell gave up four hits and struck out five in four scoreless innings to register a save.
Game one saw Bentley grab the lead in the fourth inning. Senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS) reached on an infield single, was sacrificed to second and scored on an infield single by senior designated hitter Dante Padovani (Lynnfield/Lynnfield HS).
A pair of unearned runs in the fifth extended the Bentley lead after a passed ball on a third strike and an error on a sacrifice set the table. Both were driven in on a bases-loaded single to right by senior shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS).
Padovani had two of Bentley's five hits in the contest.
Bentley's only runs in the nightcap came in the first inning after senior left fielder and lead-off hitter Sean Keady (Norwood/Norwood HS) got things started with an infield single. One out later, Brennan singled to left and the two executed a double steal to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Keady scored on a Nagy ground out and an error allowed Brennan to score what proved to be the winning run.
The Penmen, who doubled the Falcons in hits (6-3), left multiple runners on in three innings, including the bases loaded in the fifth. They also received quality pitching, including 11 strikeouts and two hits in seven innings by game two starter and freshman lefty Tim Viehoff (Derry, N.H.).
Keady had two of Bentley's three hits.
Bentley returns to action Tuesday with a 3:30 pm contest at Pace University.