MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior center Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) slugged a school record-tying three home runs, including the game-winner in the top of the eighth, and the Falcon bullpen provided 6.2 innings of scoreless relief as Bentley University knocked off No. 4 Southern New Hampshire, 4-3, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at Penmen Field.
Troiani has been red-hot with his three round trippers giving him five in his last three games. During the Falcons' current five-game winning streak, he's 12-for-22 with nine runs scored, 11 RBI, nine extra base hits, 33 total bases and a 1.500 slugging percentage. His efforts have helped coach Bob DeFelice's team move within a game-and-a-half of first in the Northeast Division.
This is the sixth time that a Bentley player has homered three times in a game, but the first since the NE10 switched to wood in 2002. The last Falcons to go deep three times were Jamie Saccardo and Jeff Hudson, both in 2001.
Remarkably, all of Troiani's dingers came while the Falcon leadoff hitter was leading off innings. His first two went to center, on a 3-2 pitch to start the game and on the first pitch of the sixth to create a 3-3 deadlock.
It stayed even at three until the eighth when he drove a 2-1 pitch over the left center field wall for a lead the Falcons would not give back.
In the last of the ninth, Southern New Hampshire had runners on first and second with one out. DeFelice brought in junior right hander Ryan Corriveau (Milton, N.H./Nute HS) and he closed out the game with a strikeout and a grounder to first.
Previously, sophomore Jimmy Hodgson (Newton, Mass./Newton North HS), junior Will Rossiter (Granite Springs, N.Y./ Kennedy Catholic HS) and freshman Zachary Zdimal (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Preparatory) had been brought in from the pen. Hodgson, the winner, allowed two hits and struck out one in 2.2 innings. Rossiter has similar numbers in two innings and Zdimal gave up one hit and fanned one in 1.1 innings.
The only Bentley run not scored via a Troiani homer was scored in the first. Graduate student and second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington, Mass./BB&N) tripled to right center and scored on a sacrifice fly from junior first baseman Ryan Berardino (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS).
SNHU, which lost consecutive home games to the same team for the first time in six years, drew even with two unearned runs in the second inning and used both a double and single to take a 3-2 lead in the third. The Penmen dropped to 9-3 in divisional play and 28-10 overall.
Bentley, now 15-8 since March 11, improved to 9-4 in the Northeast Division and 15-18 overall.
- The two teams will complete their three-game series at Southern New Hampshire Tuesday at 3:30 pm. Due to the expected inclement weather, that game was rescheduled from Saturday.