WALTHAM, Mass. – A three-run eighth inning, capped by an RBI triple by junior left fielder Billy Johnson (Auburn), erased a 5-4 deficit and propelled Assumption College to a 7-6 win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field. It was the Falcons' first loss this season when leading after seven innings, following 14 wins.
Bentley, which dropped from first to third in the divisional standings, received a five-for-five effort, with two triples, from senior shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS).
After Bentley took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh, the Hounds answered right back, spoiling the first relief appearance of the season for junior lefty Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport/ Newburyport HS). Sophomore second baseman Colin Clancy (Chelmsford) led off with a single to right, sophomore catcher Tom Paine (Upton) drew a full-count walk and both advanced 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt.
A ground out allowed Clancy to score the tying run and an RBI single by sophomore shortstop Michael Panza (West Haven, Conn.) brought in Paine with the go-ahead run. Panza added insurance when he scored on Johnson's triple to center.
Bentley staged a rally in the bottom of the ninth. Senior left fielder Sean Keady (Norwood/ Norwood HS), who broke the school record for career at bats earlier in the game, led off with a double to left. Following a fly out, Brennan completed his perfect day with a triple to left center, bringing in Keady with the Falcons' sixth run.
With the potential tying run 90 feet away, senior Ysander Figueroa (Worcester) recorded back-to-back strikeouts to lock up his sixth save of the season.
Assumption (18-19, 9-10 Northeast) jumped on top early, exploding for four runs in the first, the big blow being a three-run homer by freshman first baseman Mike Coggeshall (Shrewsbury).
Bentley (21-15, 12-6 Northeast) matched those four runs in the bottom of the fourth with RBIs registered by junior center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS), sophomore catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth HS), senior third baseman Nate Witkowski (Melrose/ Malden Catholic HS) and freshman first baseman Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Reg. HS).
In the seventh, the Falcons grabbed the lead when Brennan scored on a triple to dead center by senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS).
In addition to the five hits by Brennan, Bentley's 13 included two for both Nagy and Witkowski. Johnson and Panza each had three hits for the Hounds.
The two teams will continue their weekend series with games at 3 pm Saturday and 1 pm Sunday, both at DeFelice Field.