WALTHAM, Mass. – Southern New Hampshire University senior first baseman Alejandro Diaz (Old Bridge, N.J.) singled up the middle on a three-two pitch to drive in sophomore third baseman Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.) from second with the winning run, giving the Penmen a 6-5 10-inning victory over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Sunday afternoon at Penmen Field.
Bentley, which had used quality relief pitching to fight back from a 5-0 deficit after two innings, dropped to 9-19 overall and 7-9 in the division. SNHU, ranked 20th nationally in Division II, pushed its record to 29-8, including 15-3 in Northeast play.
In the tenth, Goldstein and sophomore shortstop Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Conn.) drew back-to-back four-pitch walks with one out. After a strikeout, Diaz gave his team the walk-off victory, the hit his second of the afternoon.
The day got off to a rough start for the Falcons with Southern New Hampshire scoring three times in the first and two more in the second. In the two innings, the Penmen had six hits, including a pair of doubles by Cruz, and also received two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Bentley climbed back in the contest with four unearned runs in the fifth as the Falcons took advantage of three Penmen errors. Sophomore second baseman Carl Farnham (Bangor, Maine/ Bangor HS) singled through the right side, junior shortstop Zachary Littman (Abington, Mass./Abington HS) reached on an error, and freshman left fielder Nick Neshe (Waltham/Waltham HS) drove in Farnham with a double down the left field line.
Senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS), who saw his hitting streak halted at 14, was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs and Littman scored the Falcons' second run when a ball hit back to the mound by senior first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport, Mass./ Newburyport HS) was misplayed. Later in the inning, Neshe scored on a wild pitch and Nagy scored on another miscue.
In the eighth, with runners on the corners, sophomore third baseman Burton Deady (Andover, Mass./Andover HS) doubled to center. O'Connor, who had singled to start the inning, scored from third but freshman second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington, Mass./BB&N) was thrown out at the plate while attempting to score the go-ahead run.
Bentley also threatened in the ninth with a walk, a sacrifice and a grounder to second putting Littman on third, but SNHU freshman righty Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) came in from the pen with two outs to get his team out of the inning unscathed.
The Falcons received outstanding relief from junior Will Alden (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) and freshman Colin Harrington (Waterford, Conn./Waterford HS). Alden pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in which he gave up five hits and four walks. Harrington, who took the loss, allowed just the winning run in his two innings of work.
SNHU received three hits apiece from sophomore center fielder Carson Helms (Farmington, Conn.) and junior designated hitter Lorenzo Papa (Stoneham, Mass.). Each of the Falcons' six hits was by a different player.
Bentley will continue its bid for a Northeast-10 playoff spot on Tuesday when it hosts its closest challenger, Merrimack College, in a 4 pm game at DeFelice Field.