WALTHAM, Mass. – A fifth-inning grand slam by junior designated hitter Stephen Octave (New Windsor, N.Y.) broke a scoreless tie and propelled Franklin Pierce University to a 9-1 win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
That was more than enough for junior righty John Amendola (Wallingford, Conn.), who pitched eight shutout innings before Bentley (9-24, 7-7 NE10 Northeast) scored its only run against the Raven bullpen in the ninth. Amendola (5-3) scattered ten hits and struck out a half-dozen.
The two-out grand slam to left was preceded by a single up the middle and back-to-back walks. It was his fifth round-tripper of the season.
Franklin Pierce (26-12, 16-6 NE10 Northeast) bolstered its lead with three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Junior center fielder Harrison Smolske (Burlington) had a two-run single in the fifth and later scored the Ravens' third run of the inning, and junior first baseman Dalton Davis (Birmingham, Ala.) hit a solo home run in the sixth.
In the ninth, Bentley received a double to left center by freshman center fielder Luke Figueira (Taunton/Taunton HS). He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS).
Bentley's 11 hits included three by freshman first baseman Ryan Berardino (Sudbury/Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS), who raised his team-leading batting average to .377. Figueira and junior third baseman Peter Bocchino (Saugus/Governors' Academy) each added two hits to the Falcon attack.
Franklin Pierce totaled seven hits off four Falcon pitchers with Smolske the only one to have two.
With the loss, Bentley's lead for the fourth and final playoff berth shrunk to two games in the loss column over both Stonehill (7-9) and Assumption (6-9) with seven to play.
Two of those will come Saturday when the Falcons hosts the Ravens in a noon doubleheader at DeFelice Field.