MANCHESTER, N.H. – Southern New Hampshire, the number five ranked team in Division II, used a trio of two-run innings to post a 6-4 win and complete a three-game sweep of Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference baseball Sunday afternoon at Penmen Field.
It was the middle innings that proved costly to the visiting Falcons with Penmen scoring twice in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to go up 6-1. Bentley battled back with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth before a game-ending strikeout by grad student Stephen Fortuna (Metuchen, N.J.) left the bases loaded.
In the SNHU fourth, sophomore right fielder John Stanton (Sandwich, Mass.) had an RBI on a ground out and junior first baseman Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton, Mass.) scored as part of a double steal attempts.
Bentley got one back in the top of the fifth, junior left fielder Nick Neshe (Waltham, Mass./ Waltham HS) scoring on a sacrifice fly hit by senior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS) after leading off the inning with a walk. Ashworth's fly ball to left was about to clear the fence for a grand slam before SNHU left fielder Derek Bauer (Millis, Mass.) brought it back.
The Penmen (29-7, 10-1 NE10 Northeast) made it 4-1 in the fifth with junior center fielder Sean Webster (Boston, Mass.) bringing in a run from third on a successful squeeze and second baseman Zach Goldstein (Merrick, N.Y.), a grad student, following with an RBI single.
In the sixth, a two-run single by sophomore third baseman Kyle Ruth (Albany, N.Y.) extended SNHU's lead to 6-1.
Freshman Jake Pierce (East Bridgewater, Mass./East Bridgewater HS) and Neshe had RBI singles in the eighth for Bentley and freshman center fielder Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) did the same in the ninth before Fortuna closed the door on the comeback bid.
Bentley's nine hits included three from junior third baseman Peter Bocchino (Saugus, Mass./ Governors Academy) and two from Troiani. SNHU's eight hits all came from different players.
Bentley (8-22-1, 6-5-1 NE10 Northeast) will play a three-game series at Merrimack Wednesday and Thursday, beginning with the completion of a game from Mar. 30 that was suspended after 11 with the score knotted at four. It was resumed for three outs on Apr. 12 before rains delayed it again.