EASTON, Mass. – Senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS) was 4-for-5 with two doubles, his eighth home run of the season and three RBI as Bentley University upended Stonehill College, the third-ranked team in the NCAA Division II East Region, 6-4 , in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Wednesday afternoon at Lou Gorman Field.
The Nagy-powered 12-hit attack supported a strong mound effort by sophomore lefty Evan Walsh (Arlington/Arlington Catholic HS), who pitched into the ninth in his second career start and earned his third win of the season.
Bentley turned the game around in the fourth inning, scoring four times to claim a 5-3 lead and drive Stonehill starter Patrick Nicholson (Middleboro), a junior lefty who came in with a 5-0 record, from the game.
After senior center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Brothers HS) reached on an infield single, Nagy cleared the center field fence with his 20th career home run tying the game at 3-3. Senior first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport/Newburyport HS) followed with a double down the left field line and following a fly ball out, freshman third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N) put the Falcons in front with a triple to right. Samko scored the Falcons' fifth run of the afternoon on a ground out by sophomore DH Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS).
Bentley opened the scoring in the top of the first with junior shortstop Zachary Littman (Abington/Abington HS) drawing a lead-off walk and scoring on Nagy's two-out double to left center.
That 1-0 lead evaporated in the bottom half of the frame when Skyhawk junior DH Brian Hocking (Duxbury) hit a three-run homer to left center. Those proved to be Stonehill's only runs until the ninth inning.
After Walsh stranded two runners in scoring position in the eighth, the Falcons (8-16, 6-6 NE-10 Northeast) picked up an unearned insurance run in the top of the ninth. Littman singled to center, took second on Stonehill's second failed pickoff attempt of the afternoon and scored on a two-out single through the right side by Muir.
Following a lead-off single by senior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, Calif.) in the bottom of the ninth, Walsh was lifted in favor of classmate Jack Burke (Reading/St. John's Prep), who notched his first career save. A two-out single by sophomore right fielder Ben Monte (New Haven, Conn.) brought in Stonehill's fourth run but he was thrown out attempting to steal by Bentley junior catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) for the game's final out. It was the 23rd runner he's caught this year in 52 attempts.
Walsh, in his eight-plus innings of work, allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out six. With runners on base, he gave up only two hits in 14 at bats.
In addition to the big day from Nagy, who is now batting a team-best .333 with a slugging percentage two points away from .700, Bentley received two hits from Muir. Littman was on base three times and scored twice.
Bentley will be back on the road this weekend for a three-game series at Saint Anselm, beginning Friday at 3:30 pm.