No. 1 Franklin Pierce Reaches 40-Win Plateau with 12-0 Shutout of Bentley

Mike Samko
Mike Samko

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior center fielder Maxx Sheehan (San Jose, Calif.) was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and ten teammates also had at least one hit as Franklin Pierce University, the number one-ranked team in Division II, ran its winning streak to 21 with a 12-0 blanking of Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field.

Franklin Pierce, unbeaten since Mar. 25, used an 18-hit attack to improve to 40-2 overall and 18-1 in division contests. Bentley slipped to 9-21 overall and 7-11 Northeast.

Four two-out runs in the top of the first were more than enough for a pair of Raven pitchers, senior righty Brendan O'Rourke (Shrewsbury) and junior righty Miles Sheehan (Madison, Conn.). O'Rourke entered the game with a 0.61 ERA in ten starts and Sheehan's was even better, 0.44. It marked the 13th shutout posted by Franklin Pierce pitchers this spring.

O'Rourke, who improved to 10-0, allowed four hits and two walks over the first six innings while striking out eight. Sheehan, in three innings of relief, struck out three and gave up three singles and one walk.

Bentley had a pair of scoring opportunities, the first coming in the fifth when singles by senior first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport/Newburyport HS) and freshman third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N) put runners on the corners with one out. However, the Ravens turned two on a grounder to short to keep the Falcons off the scoreboard.

In the seventh, the first three batters to face Sheehan reached with O'Connor walking, junior catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS) singling through the right side and Samko hitting a single to third. This time, Franklin Pierce got off unscathed with a line out, a strikeout looking and a grounder back to the mound.

In the top of the first, Maxx Sheehan led off the game with an infield single, went to second on a one-out sacrifice bunt and scored on a single to right by senior catcher Matt Walsh (Plymouth). That opened the door with the inning including three more hits, two Bentley errors and a stolen base.

It remained a 4-0 game until the seventh when the visitors erupted for five runs, an inning that included sacrifice flies by junior first baseman Matthew O'Herron (Springfield) and sophomore second baseman Kyle Hood (Arlington). Franklin Pierce added to its total with another run in the eighth and two more in the ninth.

O'Herron also had three hits for Franklin Pierce and sophomore DH Chris LaVorgna (North Haven, Conn.) accounted for four runs with two scored and two RBI.

The two teams will meet again Saturday with a noon doubleheader, the final two home games of the season for the Falcons.