Stonehill Halts 1st-Place Bentley's Win Streak at 7

Will Brennan
Will Brennan

WALTHAM, Mass. – A six-run third inning propelled Stonehill College to a 6-1 lead and the Skyhawks held on for an 8-6 Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division win over Bentley University in college baseball action Tuesday at DeFelice Field, snapping the Falcons' winning streak at seven.

Bentley, which had won 11 straight divisional games, saw its Northeast Division lead shrink to one game overall and two in the loss column over Southern New Hampshire. The Falcons, who had won 18 of their previous 21, dropped to 19-11 overall and 11-2 Northeast. Stonehill's fifth straight win boosted its records to 23-15 overall and 8-5 division.

Junior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, Calif.) led a 13-hit Stonehill attack with a four-for-five, two-RBI day, and senior lefty Charlie DeFrancesco (Lincoln) earned the win with 4.1 innings of one-hit scoreless relief.

It was Bentley that got on the scoreboard first with a first-inning double by senior shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) scoring freshman second baseman Burton Deady (Andover/Andover HS).

Bentley starter David Long (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield HS) struck out the side in the third inning, but also gave up five hits and a walk, in addition to hitting a batter with the bases loaded, as six straight Skyhawk batters reached and scored.

The Falcons answered right back in the bottom half of the frame, scoring four times to draw within one at 6-5. Brennan had an RBI single, as did senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./ Ludlowe HS) and sophomore catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS), and senior third baseman Nate Witkowski (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS) drew a bases-loaded walk.

Stonehill pushed the lead back to three with two runs in the fourth, using a hit batter, a double, a ground out and a sacrifice fly.

That would do it for the scoring until the bottom of the night when Witkowski doubled to open the inning and eventually scored on a two-out error.

In addition to Schneider, junior second baseman Christian Baglini (Milford, Conn.) and senior first baseman Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) had two RBI for Stonehill. Junior Armand Rugel (Middletown, R.I.) pitched the final two innings to record his ninth save.

Bentley's nine hits included two apiece for Brennan and Rocha.

Bentley is back in action Wednesday with a 3:30 pm game at Merrimack College.