WALTHAM, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team concluded its 2018 season on Friday, falling to Bentley University in both ends of a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader. The Hawks dropped the first bout, 10-5, before losing to Bentley in walk-off fashion, 12-11, in the second game.
The Hawks finished the year with an 11-28 record alongside a 5-20 mark in the conference. Bentley (20-20, 14-11 NE10) entered the series needing to win two more games than Stonehill and one more contest than Assumption to qualify for the postseason – the Falcons netted the season sweep over the Hawks with three-straight victories, earning a postseason berth.
In the first game of the afternoon, the Hawks and Falcons played to a 5-5 tie heading into the bottom of the eighth inning but the hosts scored five runs in that inning.
Down 11-6 in the top of the ninth inning in game two, the Hawks dramatically tied the game at 11 with five-straight runs. A leadoff walk, a passed ball and a double to right center field by Mike Sanko quickly ended the game and the Hawks season.
The Hawks sprinted out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as a leadoff walk by Max Wadington burned the Falcons. With two outs in the frame, senior Dan Bodi recorded an RBI single to left field to drive home the game's first run.
Bentley scored the game's next five runs, using five hits and one error en route to five runs before the Hawks were able to score two runners in the top of the fifth. Junior Oscar Larranaga doubled down the left field line to drive in a run and classmate Connor Parent had an RBI groundout to second base, cutting the Bentley lead to 5-3 in the top of the fifth.
Two Saint Anselm runs in the top of the seventh inning tied the game at five. Freshman Matthew Butigian and Parent each tallied RBI singles to help their team draw even.
Bentley put the game away in the home half of the eighth inning, using five hits to score five runs against the Hawks.
JJ Dunn started the game for Saint Anselm, picking up a no-decision after allowing three earned runs across four-and-two-thirds innings. Will Conaton drew the loss after yielding four runs across two-and-two-thirds innings before Jared Ferris gave up one run in two-thirds of an inning.
Paul Frisoli did not factor into the decision for Bentley, departing after pitching five complete innings of five-hit ball. Jimmy Cunningham earned his first win of the season, throwing four innings of relief, limiting the Hawks damage to only two runs in the top of the fifth.
The Hawks scored two runs in the visiting half of the second inning after an RBI single by freshman Ben Horsfall and a hit-by-pitch drawn by Butigian. The Hawks would leave the bases loaded later in the inning as Bentley reliever Greg Johnson was able to dance his way out of trouble.
Bentley scored six runs across the next three innings prior to the Hawks benefitting from an RBI single from Wadington, cutting into the hosts lead. Larranaga would steal home in the top of the seventh inning, shrinking the Bentley advantage to 6-4.
The Falcons scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh but Saint Anselm was resilient in the next half-inning – freshman Max Silverman registered a pinch-hit double that drove in a run and Larranaga reached on a fielder's choice, earning an RBI in the process.
Three more Bentley runs placed the Hawks in an 11-6 hole heading into the top of the ninth inning. Bodi led off the inning with a single and all runners were eventually safe on a muffed throw by the first baseman for Bentley. Andre Gaudet followed with a single through the left side, loading the bases before a wild pitch led to Saint Anselm scoring the first run of the inning.
Larranaga kept the line moving with a two-RBI single to left field and Parent produced another RBI with the game-tying RBI single to center field. The Hawks went on to score five runs on five hits with one error before Bentley walked off in the bottom of the inning.
Bentley pitchers combined to allow 11 runs but only six were earned after four miscues on defense. Freshman Brian Wojichowski allowed six earned runs in five innings and was relieved by Zane Byrne who gave up two earned runs in one-and-two-thirds innings of work. Junior Preston Yerrington was unable to keep Bentley off the scoreboard, giving up five hits in one-and-one-third inning to draw the loss.