WALTHAM, Mass. – A four-run eighth inning by the Bentley University Falcons forged a 4-4 tie with Merrimack College and it was still even at four following 11 when the Falcons' home opener was called due to darkness in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division action Thursday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
By conference rules, the game will be resumed, most likely when the two clubs meet at Merrimack Apr. 12.
The big eighth inning saw Bentley capitalize on a pair of singles, a bases-loaded error, four walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch. The first two runs scored when the Warrior catcher threw the ball away, the third came in on a passed ball and the tying run scored when freshman center fielder Luke Figueira (Taunton/Taunton HS) drew a bases-loaded walk.
Neither club put up a threat during the final three innings as both Bentley grad student Bill Sullivan (Carver/Carver HS) and Merrimack sophomore Cam Monagle (Cambridge) were outstanding in relief. Sullivan, the sixth pitcher for Falcons, walked one and struck out five in his three innings of work while Monagle, the fifth to throw for Merrimack, was equally impressive for the Warriors, with one walk and two K's in 3.2 innings.
Merrimack, which had scored the game's first run in the fifth, extended its lead with three in the sixth. Freshman third baseman Joey Porricelli (Monroe, Conn.) and senior second baseman Paul Buckley (Sagamore Beach, Calif.) had RBI singles and shortstop Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.), a grad student, picked up his second RBI of the contest on a fielder's choice.
Three of the five Falcons who preceded Sullivan to the mound didn't give up a run, including freshman starter Lloyd Hill (Milton/Milton HS) who allowed one hit in his two innings. Sophomore righty Ryan Corriveau (Milton, N.H./Nute HS) followed with two scoreless innings, allowing two runs, and freshman righty Greg Johnson (North Reading/North Reading HS) allowed a hit and a walk in 1.2 innings.
Bentley totaled nine hits, including three by Figueira and two apiece from senior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS) and junior third baseman Peter Bocchino (Saugus/Governor's Academy).
Merrimack's 13 hits included three by Buckley and at least one by every player in the lineup. Junior P.J. Browne (Rutland) started for the Warriors and struck out nine in 5.2 scoreless innings.
A decision on this week's three-game home series with St. Michael's College will be made Friday.