Bentley Uses 10 Hits & Solid Pitching to Edge Rollins, 4-3

Jack Burke
Jack Burke

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Sophomore third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington, Mass./BB&N) singled and scored the winning run in the sixth, and junior righty Jack Burke (Reading, Mass.)/St. John's Prep) earned a three-inning save, as Bentley University held on for a 4-3 win over Rollins College in non-conference baseball action Friday night at Alfond Stadium.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Samko singled through the right side. Junior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS) followed with a single to center with Samko moving to third. Senior catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth HS) grounded to third with Samko coming in from third with the go-ahead run.

Burke took over for Falcon starter Bill Sullivan (Carver, Mass./Carver HS) in the seventh and retired the first seven Tars he faced on 16 pitches.  Senior Michael Maloney (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) kept his team alive with a two-out pinch hit to right and sophomore second baseman Nick Breen (Debary, Fla.) followed with another hit, this one to left. He was caught in a rundown between first and second, and was tagged out before pinch-runner Kyle Hintz (Melbourne, Fla.) was able to score the tying run.

Bentley (1-3) jumped on top with two runs in the top of the first. Sophomore DH Nick Neshe (Waltham, Mass./Waltham HS) led off with a double to left and took third on a single to center by senior second baseman Zachary Littman (Abington, Mass./Abington HS). After a strikeout, back-to-back singles by grad student Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport HS) and freshman right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) each drove in a run.

Rollins (2-5) evened the score in the bottom of the second on a two-run homer to right by junior center fielder Peter Nicoletto (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and picked up another run in the third to go up 3-2.

Bentley drew even in the top of the fourth with a two-out single by freshman left fielder Cameron Cruz (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton HS) driving in Ashworth, who had reached on a double.

Sullivan, in his six innings of work, struck out five while allowing five hits, three runs and three walks.

Bentley's 10 hits included two apiece by O'Connor, Cruz and Ashworth. Breen was the only Rollins player with more than one as he finished 2-for-5.

Senior righty Brandon Burgess (Plantation, Fla.), the second of three Rollins pitchers, was charged with the loss after giving up three hits and one run in 2.2 innings.

The two teams will continue the weekend series with a 2 pm contest on Saturday afternoon.