EASTON, Mass. – Bentley University junior center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS) broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run single in the eighth and the Falcons went on to hold off Stonehill College, 3-2, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Tuesday afternoon at Lou Gorman Field. The win was the eighth in the last nine games for the Falcons.
With the victory, Bentley improved to a division-best 3-1 in the Northeast, 5-1 in the conference and 9-8 overall. Stonehill, 1-3 in division contests, slipped to 13-10 overall, including 3-3 NE-10.
Bentley got on the board first and as he was in the decisive eighth, Muir was involved. He led off the second with a walk, advanced on a single by sophomore catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) and took third on a fly ball to right. Freshman second baseman Burton Deady (Andover/ Andover HS) beat out an infield single to third with Muir scoring on the play.
An infield single, two stolen bases and a single to right center by junior shortstop Dan Fratus (Plymouth) allowed the Skyhawks, the fourth-ranked team in the latest NCBWA East Region poll, to even the game at 1-1.
It remained 1-1 until the eighth. Bentley senior left fielder Sean Keady (Norwood/Norwood HS) reached on a one-out bunt single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Following a walk to senior third baseman Nate Witkowski (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS), a fly ball out, a pitching change and a double steal, senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS) worked a two-out walk. Muir followed with a single to left center, bringing in Keady and Witkowski with the go-ahead runs.
One-out hits in the Stonehill ninth by sophomore second baseman Chris Hoyt (Walpole) and senior right fielder Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, R.I.) put the tying runs on base. After a foul out, an error on Karalis' steal of second allowed Hoyt to score, making it a one-run game with the potential tying run on third.
Following a walk that put runners on the corners, freshman lefty Ray Rowell (Wellfleet/Nauset Reg. HS) came in from the bullpen to strike out senior first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) for the game's final out and his second straight save.
Junior righty Connor Root (Nashua, N.H./Nashua HS North) pitched up until that point for the Falcons and recorded his third win in four decisions. He limited the Skyhawks to five hits and struck out six while giving up just one earned run.
Bentley will begin a six-game homestand Wednesday with a 3:30 pm divisional contest with Merrimack College.