NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Despite three RBI from senior first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport/Newburyport HS), the Bentley University Falcons dropped a 10-7 decision to Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Tuesday afternoon at the Warrior Diamond.
Merrimack's 15-hit attack was powered by the top of its lineup with sophomore right fielder Tyler Lyne (Agawam), junior third baseman Frank Crinella (East Longmeadow) and sophomore second baseman Cam DiSarcina (Shirley) combining for nine hits in 14 at bats with five runs scored and six RBI.
They were instrumental in a three-run bottom-of-the-fourth after Bentley had scored three times in the top half of the inning to take a 3-1 lead. After Lyne walked and Crinella was hit by a pitch, DiSarcinia drove in Lyne with a single and Crinella stole home as part of a double steal. Later in the inning, DiScarcina scored on a fielder's choice.
Bentley was fortunate to head into the top of the fourth down just 1-0 after sophomore lefty Evan Walsh (Arlington/Arlington Catholic HS), who was making his first career start after a number of strong relief performances, pitched out of trouble repeatedly in the first three frames. Merrimack left the bases loaded in the second and two on in the other two innings.
Bentley opened the top of the fourth with singles by senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS) and freshman third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N). O'Connor plated both with a triple to right and then scored on a single in the same direction by junior catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth HS).
The Warriors added to their lead with two runs in the fifth inning, making it a 6-3 contest, and struck for four in the seventh to go up 10-4. Crinella had an RBI single during the fifth and a two-run homer in the seventh, and Merrimack also received a seventh-inning sacrifice fly by Lyne.
Bentley, which had scored a single run in the seventh on a double by junior DH Zachary Littman (Abington/Abington HS), cut the Merrimack lead in half with three runs in the eighth. O'Connor picked up an RBI on a bases-loaded ground-out, Rocha also plated a run with a ground out and another run scored on an error.
Nagy, Samko and sophomore shortstop Carl Farnham (Bangor, Maine/Bangor HS) each had two hits for Bentley (5-15, 3-5 NE-10 Northeast-10).
For Merrimack, Crinella was 4-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored, and DiSarcina finished with three hits.
Bentley is off until Friday when it will begin a three-game home series against St. Michael's.