WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior left fielder Tyler Lyne (Agawam) drove in six runs, the last two on a tie-breaking triple in the top of the 11th, to lead Merrimack College to an 11-9 extra-inning win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Monday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
The Warriors' three runs in the 11th spoiled the Falcon comeback bid after Bentley rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 8-8 and force bonus baseball.
After Bentley loaded the bases but failed to score in the bottom of the tenth, freshman third baseman Matthew Ronai (Orange, Conn.) drew a walk to lead off the Merrimack 11th. Following a failed sacrifice attempt and a steal of second by Ronai, senior center fielder Bobby Losanno (Peabody) singled to left, putting runners on the corners.
Lyne brought both home with a two-out triple to right and scored Merrimack's third run of the inning on an errant throw on the relay.
Bentley got one run back in the bottom of the inning when graduate student Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS) scored on a ground out by junior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS), but was unable to get any closer.
The Falcons (9-16, 1-5 NE-10 Northeast) went into their final at bat of regulation down 8-4. Sophomore DH Nick Neshe (Waltham/Waltham HS) and senior catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) got things started with back-to-back singles to open the inning. After a fly ball for the first out, consecutive singles by sophomore third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/ BB&N) and senior second baseman Zachary Littman (Abington/Abington HS) plated Neshe and Rocha, and forced a pitching change.
Muir greeted reliever Garrett Hudson (Greenfield) with a double to the right field corner, driving in Samko and Littman to tie the game.
Bentley had a 4-0 lead after four but saw the Warriors (18-10, 2-1 NE-10 Northeast) turn the contest around with two in the fifth, four in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Bentley totaled 14 hits, including a 4-for-5 day by Muir, who finished with three RBI and two runs scored. Neshe was 3-for-6, raising his team-high average to .346, and Rocha had two hits.
Merrimack's 17 hits featured five, in six at bats, by Losanno out of the ninth spot in the order. Lyne was 3-for-6 with three runs scored in addition to the six RBI.
Bentley will return to action Wednesday with a 3:30 pm game at Stonehill College.