WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior right-hander Scott Lueders (Mansfield/Newton South HS) and sophomore righty Will Alden (Westford/Westford Academy) combined on a three-hitter as division-leading Bentley University ran its winning streak to seven games and completed a three-game sweep of Saint Anselm College, 5-1 in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Monday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
Bentley, which maintained a three-game lead over Southern New Hampshire in the loss column, improved to 19-10 overall, 15-3 in conference play and 11-1 Northeast. The victory was the Falcons' 11th straight against a divisional opponent and the team's 18th in its last 21 contests.
Bentley sophomore catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS), who had half of his team's six hits as well as three stolen bases, ignited a three-run seventh inning with a one-out single to right. On a strikeout, he stole second and landed on third when the catcher's thrown sailed into center. Senior left fielder Sean Keady (Norwood/Norwood HS) grounded to short for what should have been an inning-ending out, but the ball was mishandled, allowing Rocha to score the Falcons' first run and make it a 1-1 game.
Freshman second baseman Burton Deady (Andover/Andover HS) followed with an RBI single to left and senior shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) made it 3-1 with his third triple of the spring.
Bentley added two runs to its lead in the eighth. Senior third baseman Nate Witkowski (Malden/Melrose Catholic HS) walked, stole second and scored on Rocha's single to right. Rocha took second on the throw, stole third and made it a 5-1 game on the Hawks' third error in a two-inning span.
Saint Anselm (12-26, 4-11 Northeast) scored its only run in the first when a pair of two-out walks were followed by a single to right by freshman left fielder Mac Finnegan (Old Saybrook, Conn.).
Lueders, who improved to 4-2 on the season, gave up only two singles during his 7.1 innings of work. He walked five, struck out four and was held out by two double plays and a caught stealing. Alden came in for an inning-ending double play in the eighth and retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to notch his first career save.
Bentley, riding its first seven-game winning streak since 2002, will be back in action Tuesday with a 3:30 pm home game against Stonehill College.