WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior second baseman Logan Gillis (Merrimack, N.H./Lawrence Academy) drove in four runs and Bentley University received home runs from both junior first baseman Lamarre Rey (Lynn/Pingree School) and senior DH Greg Baggett (East Bridgewater/East Bridgewater HS) as the Falcons exploded for a 19-4 win over Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference baseball Wednesday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
Merrimack scored the first two run and the last two. In between, the number five team in this week's NCAA Division II East Region ranking put up 19 unanswered, including six runs in the second, five in the sixth and seven in the seventh.
Bentley posted its fourth 19-hit game of the season with seven different players having at least two, including a 4-for-5 performance by sophomore left fielder and lead-off hitter Sean Keady (Norwood/Norwood HS). Keady was one of four Falcons who scored three times, and everyone in the lineup had at least one RBI.
Merrimack's 2-0 lead was gone three pitches into the second after grad student Bryant Johnson (Hopedale/Milford HS) followed singles by Kevin Korwek (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) and Baggett with a game-tying two-run double to left-center.
Later in the inning, Johnson scored on a perfect suicide squeeze put down by Keady for his first hit of the game. Freshman center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS) followed with an RBI single and after Muir stole second, Gillis made it 6-2 with a two-run single.
Rey led off the fourth by driving his third homer of the season over the left field fence, and the Falcons broke the game open in the sixth. Keady had an RBI single, Gillis plated two with a double and Baggett slammed his seventh home run of the spring.
Six of the seven runs in the seventh scored after a two-out error extended the inning. Korwek had an RBI single, Keady scored on an error, Johnson drove in a run with his third hit, Rey was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, sophomore shortstop Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) drew a bases-loaded walk and sophomore third baseman Nate Witkowski (Melrose/Malden Catholic HS) drove in two with a double down the line.
In addition to four hits by Keady and three by Johnson, Bentley received three from Korwek, who took over the team lead in batting average (.327) from Gillis (.326). Witkowski doubled twice, and Muir and Gillis also had two hits.
Reaping the benefit of the offensive explosion was junior right-hander JP Ashline (Clinton/Acton-Boxboro Reg. HS), who went the distance for his fifth win in seven decisions. He was outstanding during the middle seven innings, allowing only four hits and retiring 15 of 16 at one stretch.
Ashline gave up a total of eight hits and three walks while striking out six.
The win boosted the Falcons to 23-20 overall, 23-11 against East Region teams and 8-6 in the NE-10 Northeast Division. That gave Bentley sole possession of fourth place heading into this weekend's three-game series at St. Michael's, which begins Friday at 3:30 pm.