WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomores Luke Figueira (Taunton/Taunton HS) and Ryan Berardino (Sudbury/Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) combined for eight RBI and junior righty Luke Dawson (Stamford, Conn./Westhill HS) fired his second straight complete game shutout as Bentley University opened a three-game series with Assumption College with a 15-0 win in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
Figueira drove in five runs, three coming on a second-inning home run, and Berardino had a three-RBI afternoon, helping Bentley improve to 16-13 overall, 10-4 conference and 6-4 division. Coach Bob DeFelice's team has won seven of its last eight and is 15-7 since March 5.
In the second, sophomore shortstop Chris Hopkins (Malden/Malden Catholic HS) reached on a fielder's choice and graduate catcher Nathan Littman (Abington/Abington HS) singled to center, setting the table for Figueira. He delivered by lining a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence for a quick 3-0 Falcon victory. The roundtripper was his third of the season.
Bentley broke the game wide open with a 10-run fourth inning with all the runs unearned by virtue of two early errors. Figueira and Littman both scored twice in the inning, Figueira had a two-run double to left and senior second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N) had a two-run single through the right side. Samko has now reached base in 23 consecutive games for the Falcons.
A two-run double to center in the seventh completed the game's scoring.
Bentley's 11 hits included two apiece by Samko, Berardino, junior first baseman Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS), Littman and Figueira. Samko finished with two RBI and two runs scored, and freshman third baseman Charlie Auditore (Walpole/Walpole HS) also drove in a pair of runs.
Dawson, who authored a 12-0 shutout of St. Michael's a week ago, finished with a two-hitter after carrying a no-hitter into the seventh. Junior shortstop Hunter Tralli (Berlin, Conn.) broke it up with a double to deep center with one out in the seventh, and the Hounds (16-20-1, 10-8-1, 7-4) also picked up a single in the ninth.
Dawson fanned 11, the third straight game the NE10 strikeout leader has reached double figures, and six of his K's came on called third strikes. He's now struck out 80 in 61 innings this season and has pitched 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
Saturday's doubleheader will get underway at 12 noon.