No. 1 Franklin Pierce Takes Two from Bentley, 4-3 and 16-3

Bryan Rocha
Bryan Rocha

WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior center fielder John Razzino (Cranston, R.I.) drove in a total of six runs, including four in the nightcap, as Franklin Pierce University, the top-ranked team in Division II, ran its winning streak to 23 by taking both ends of a doubleheader from Bentley University, 4-3 and 16-3, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Saturday afternoon at DeFelice Field.

In the opener, the 42-2 Ravens broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning. Sophomore designated hitter Chris LaVorgna (North Haven, Conn.)  led off with a double to right center.  He advanced to third on a fly ball to center and scored what proved to be the winning run on a single through the left side by  junior shortstop Justin Brock (Latham, N.Y.).

After falling behind early 2-0, Bentley struck for three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Junior shortstop Zachary Littman (Abington/Abington HS) led off with a walk and went to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Following the second strikeout of the inning, senior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe HS) was hit by a pitch and senior first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport/ Newburyport HS) drew a full count walk to load the bases.

Those bases were cleared by junior catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS) with a three-run double to right that put the Falcons up 3-2.

The lead lasted only until Franklin Pierce's next at bat. Junior left fielder Kurtis White (Nahant) reached on an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error on the play. One out later, White stole third and came home when Rocha's throw sailed into left.

Franklin Pierce, unbeaten since late March, outhit the home team 7-5 with three players in the game having two hits: Rocha for Bentley and both Brock and junior center fielder Maxx Sheehan (San Jose, Calif.) for the Ravens.

Game two saw Bentley take a 2-1 lead with two runs in the bottom of the first. Littman singled to right, stole second and took third on a throwing error. Freshman left fielder Nick Neshe (Waltham/ Waltham HS) walked, Littman scored on a grounder to first by senior center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS) and Neshe came home on Nagy's RBI single to right.

Franklin Pierce, which improved to 20-1 in divisional play, evened the game with a run in the second and took control with three in the third and two more in the fourth. The Ravens broke it wide open in the sixth when the first eight batters of the inning reached and scored.

Razzino powered the 20-hit attack as he was three-for-four with two runs scored, four RBI and his Division II-leading 43rd stolen base. White also had a strong performance, finishing 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Senior right-hander Conor Gleason (North Stonington, Conn.) and a trio of relievers combined for a 12-strikeout three-hitter for Franklin Pierce with Gleason improving to 3-0 on the season. In his six innings, he allowed two hits, two runs and four walks while striking out seven.

Bentley (9-23, 7-13 NE-10 Northeast) will wrap up the 2015 season Sunday with a 1 pm game at Assumption College.