WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley University baseball team had won six straight and 11 of its last 12 heading into Sunday's doubleheader with Adelphi University, but was cooled off by the Panthers who rallied to sweep the Northeast-10 Conference non-divisional twinbill, 7-5 (12 innings) and 9-7, at DeFelice Field.
Bentley led the opener 5-0 after two innings, but was blanked by a trio of Adelphi relievers over the final ten innings. Included was seven innings of four-hit, 10-strikeout relief by senior righty Matt Abramowitz (Staten Island, N.Y.).
Game two saw the Panthers overcome a 5-1 deficit with five runs in the sixth and three in the ninth. Senior right-hander John Donnelly (Valley Stream, N.Y.) came on to earn the save after he picked up the win in the opener with two scoreless innings of relief.
Bentley's strong start in the opener featured a three-run homer by senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS) over the 410 marker in straight-away center in the first.
Junior right fielder Nick Zito (Nesconset, N.Y.) ignited the Adelphi comeback with a two-run, two-out double in the sixth. An inning later, senior DH Richard Mejia (Jackson, N.J.) made it a 5-4 game with a two-run triple to center and he later scored the tying run on a ground out.
With two runners on base in the ninth, Zito singled to right to score senior Brandon Stahl (East Norwich, N.Y.) with the go-ahead run. He got caught in a rundown between first and second, and kept it going long enough for junior second baseman Vincent Sharkey (Lynbrook, N.Y.) to score an insurance run.
Bentley's dozen hits included two apiece for seniors Sean Keady (Norwood/Norwood HS), Nate Witkowski (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS) and Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS), as well as sophomore Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS) and freshman Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Reg. HS).
Game two saw Bentley break a 1-1 tie with four runs in the fifth inning. Brennan had a three-run double to left center and scored two pitches later on Nagy's single up the middle.
The lead didn't last long as Adelphi struck for five in its next at bat, an inning that featured an improbable three sacrifice flies. Two were of the conventional variety and the other was mishandled, allowing the batter to reach on the play. As a result, two of the runs were unearned.
Bentley came back to tie the game at six in the bottom of the sixth when freshman second baseman Burton Deady (Andover/Andover HS) doubled and scored on a Keady single to left. The hit extended Keady's hitting streak to 17 games, and the outfielder has also been on base at least once in 32 straight contests.
Adelphi broke the tie in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by junior right fielder Alex Zycoff (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.). Freshman Michael Stack (Wantagh, N.Y.) followed with a two-run double to provide the visitors with insurance. That proved necessary as Bentley came back with one in the bottom of the ninth, Brennan singling home Deady, who had doubled for the second time.
Brennan finished with four hits, giving him six on the day, and junior center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian HS) had three in the nightcap.
The two losses dropped Bentley to 12-10 overall and 8-3 against NE-10 opponents. Adelphi, which totaled 26 hits in the doubleheader, improved to 13-11 overall and 9-4 NE-10.
Bentley's seven-game homestand will conclude Wednesday with a 3:30 pm game against Merrimack College.