WALTHAM, Mass. – A ninth inning sacrifice fly by Merrimack College junior left fielder Tyler Line (Agawam) broke a 3-3 tie and lifted the Warriors to a 4-3 win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Tuesday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
Bentley outhit the Warriors 13-11 with three apiece by sophomore third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N), senior second baseman Zachary Littman (Abington/Abington HS) and freshman right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS).
What proved to be the winning run reached when senior catcher Pat Florence (Lowell) was hit by a pitch to start the ninth. Senior center fielder Bobby Losanno (Peabody) sacrificed him to second where he was replaced by pinch-runner Paul Buckley (Sagamore Beach). After a single by junior shortstop Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) put runners on the corners, Lyne gave his team the lead on a liner to right. Bentley turned its third double play of the game on the play, but not before Buckley scored the go-ahead run.
That run capped a comeback from a 3-0 deficit by Merrimack. The Warriors (23-11, 7-2 NE-10 Northeast) scored twice in the seventh, on an RBI double by Losanno and a ground out by Forgione, and tied the game with a run in the eighth. Junior third baseman Cam DiSarcina (Shirley) reached on an infield single, moved to second on a ground out and scored on a single to right by senior DH Matt Brown (Belmont).
Bentley (9-21, 1-10 NE-10 Northeast) jumped on top when grad student and center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS) led off the bottom of the fourth with a line drive to the right field bullpen. It was his first home run of the season and second of his career.
The Falcons also picked up single runs in the next two innings. In the fifth, senior catcher Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth/Dighton-Rehoboth Reg. HS) reached on a one-out single to left, stole second and scored on Samko's single to center.
In the sixth Littman singled , advanced to third on a bloop single to left center by Littman and scored on a single to left by junior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS).
Bentley threatened in both the eighth and ninth innings, getting a pair of two-out hits in both frames. In the ninth, with Falcons on first and second, junior Nate Spielvogel (Brookline) came in from the Warrior bullpen for a game-ending strikeout.
Both starting pitchers, Bentley senior righty Will Alden (Westford/Westford Academy) and Warrior junior righty Perry Kulaga, struck out five. Alden pitched seven innings and Kulaga, now 5-1, went eight-and-two-thirds.
Bentley will return to action Friday with a 3:30 home game against Saint Anselm.