WALTHAM, Mass. – A sacrifice fly by sophomore second baseman Carl Farnham (Bangor, Maine/Bangor HS) plated senior first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport/Newburyport HS) and gave Bentley University a 3-2 12-inning win over St. Michael's College in the second half of a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball doubleheader at DeFelice Field Saturday afternoon.
The first game also took 12 innings and ended with an identical score, but that one went to St. Michael's on an RBI single by sophomore right fielder Drew Salk (Billerica).
O'Connor, who had four hits in the doubleheader, was hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the 12th of game two. Junior Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS), who caught all 24 innings, beat out an attempted sacrifice for a single and moved into scoring position when the ball was thrown away, with O'Connor advancing to third on the play.
After freshman left fielder Nick Neshe (Waltham/Waltham HS) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Farnham lifted the ball down the right field line with O'Connor easily beating the throw home for the Falcons' second walk-off victory of the season. The RBI was the first of Farnham's collegiate career.
Bentley grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second when O'Connor tripled to right center and scored on Rocha's single to center.
After St. Michael's (9-21, 3-12 NE-10 Northeast) scored its only two runs of the nightcap in the third inning, the Falcons battled back to tie the game in the sixth. Senior center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS) drew a two-out walk, senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS) followed with a single to right with Muir going to third. Nagy stole second and an errant throw by the catcher allowed Muir to score the tying run.
Sophomore lefty Evan Walsh (Arlington/Arlington Catholic HS) earned the win with four innings of two-hit shutout relief in which he struck out five and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the tenth. He took over for grad student Scott Lueders (Mansfield/Newton South HS), who allowed eight hits and one earned run in his eight innings of work.
St. Michael's outhit the Falcons 10-7 with both Rocha and Neshe having two for the home team.
As was the case in the second game, St. Michael's game-winning rally in the 12th began with a hit batter. After sophomore left fielder Steven Auger (Hopkinton, N.H.) was plunked with one out, a grounder advanced him to second and set the stage for Salk's RBI single up the middle.
Bentley trailed the game 2-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth as sophomore right-hander Dylan Lavery (Billerica) had quieted the Falcons on just four hits up to that point. With one out, O'Connor singled to left, took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a Rocha single to left.
After Lavery was lifted in favor of junior righty John Mielke (Boxboro), Neshe hit into a fielder's choice with O'Connor scoring on the play. A failed picked off attempt allowed Neshe to move all the way to third and he came home with the tying run on a two-out wild pitch.
Bentley threatened in the bottom of the 11th but stranded two runners in scoring position.
The Falcons' eight hits included three by O'Connor and two apiece from Rocha and freshman second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N). The Falcons stranded 12 runners and St. Michael's, which had a 10-8 hit advantage, left ten on.
Bentley received quality pitching from both senior righty Bill Sullivan (Carver/Carver HS) and sophomore righty Jack Burke (Reading/St. John's Prep). Sullivan allowed seven hits and two runs (one earned) in seven innings and Burke, who took the loss, yielded three hits and one run in five innings of relief.
Bentley, 7-16 overall and 5-6 in the NE-10 Northeast, returns to action Monday with a 3:30 game at Assumption.