WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomore third baseman Tom Blandini (Box, N.H.) had four hits, three runs scored and three RBI to lead Southern New Hampshire University to an 8-1 Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division victory over Bentley University in college baseball action Friday afternoon, spoiling the Falcons' home opener on DeFelice Field.
A 1-1 game midway through, Bentley threatened to take the lead in the fifth. With one out and runners on first and second, senior second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N) singled to right. Coach Bob DeFelice sent graduate catcher Nathan Littman (Abington/Abington) home on the hit, but he was gunned down at the plate by senior right fielder Caleb Potter (Mentor, Ohio), keeping the game tied.
It didn't stay 1-1 for long as the Penmen (12-9, 2-0 NE10 Northeast) struck for four runs in their next at bat. Junior catcher Joshua Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn.) had an RBI double, Blandini drove in two with a single and he later scored on an error.
Southern New Hampshire, which outhit the home team 11-6, added to its lead with a single run in the seventh and two more in the ninth.
Graduate righty Andrew Lalonde (Bedford, N.H.) gained the win for SNHU after allowing four hits and one run in five innings of work. Junior lefty Hayden Manning (Portland, Conn.) was impressive in relief, striking out five and giving up only two hits in three innings.
Bentley scored its only run in the fourth when Samko singled and scored on a single by junior right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS).
Littman and Samko both had two hits for Bentley, which dropped to 8-11 overall and 0-2 NE10 Northeast).
The two teams will be back on DeFelice Field Saturday for a noon doubleheader.