MANCHESTER, N.H. – Junior lefty Jake Stearns (Plymouth, Mass.) pitched a four-hit shutout in the nightcap, helping nationally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University complete a sweep of visiting Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Saturday afternoon at Penmen Field. The 2-0 game two win came after the Penmen pulled away for a 13-4 victory in the opener.
Stearns and Bentley senior lefty Evan Walsh (Arlington, Mass./Arlington Catholic HS) were locked in a scoreless tie through five-and-a-half innings.
After freshman lefty Lloyd Hill (Milton, Mass./Milton HS) took over for Walsh in the sixth, Division II's fifth-ranked team capitalized on a couple Bentley miscues to score the game's first run. Grad student and third baseman Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.) hit a one-out single to left center, took second on a wild pitch, moved another 90 feet on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on a balk.
The Penmen (28-7, 9-1 NE10 Northeast) scored again in the seventh and once again, a failed pickoff attempt was involved. Junior first baseman Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton, Mass.) singled up the middle, advanced to third on an errant throw from the mound and scored on a single up the middle by sophomore catcher Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, N.Y.).
Stearns, who improved to 4-0, struck out six during his complete game, 101-pitch effort. Walsh scattered three hits and struck out four during his five innings of work.
In the opener, Bentley (8-21-1, 6-4-1 NE10 Northeast) forged a 3-3 tie in the top of the third when sophomore right fielder Austin Farry (Watertown, Mass./Watertown HS) hit his first career home run. The three-run shot down the left field line extended his hitting streak to a dozen games. It ended in the nightcap when he was 0-for-3.
Southern New Hampshire reclaimed the lead in the fourth, scoring an unearned run on an infield single by junior center fielder Sean Webster (Boston, Mass.).
The Penmen added to their lead with another run in the fifth, three in the sixth and five runs in the seventh.
Eight different SNHU players drove in runs, nine scored and seven had one or more hits. Three of the runs were scored by senior catcher Cam Oliveira (Tewksbury, Mass.).
The two teams will complete their three-game series with a 1 pm game at Penmen Field Sunday.