Stonehill Tops First-Place Bentley, 8-6

Junior Eric Schneider went 4-for-5 with two RBI to lead Stonehill to an 8-6 win at Bentley today.

Eight of nine Stonehill starters record at least one hit

WALTHAM, Mass. (April 22, 2014) – Junior Eric Schneider (Camarillo, Calif./St. Bonaventure) went 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBI to lead Stonehill College to a key 8-6 victory over first-place Bentley University this afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball action at DeFelice Field.

Schneider, classmate Christian Baglini (Milford, Conn./Notre Dame) and senior Anthony Pagano (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) had two RBI each, while sophomore Brian Campbell (Franklin, Mass./Mount Saint Charles) and senior Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) knocked in one run apiece. Sophomore Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs, and senior Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, R.I./Bishop Feehan) added a hit and a pair of runs.

Senior Charlie DeFrancesco (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) earned the win for Stonehill after pitching 4.1 scoreless innings of relief and allowing just one hit and two walks, while junior Armand Rugel (Middletown, R.I./Middletown) nailed down his ninth save of the season with a two-inning effort.

Bentley was led by senior Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley) and sophomore Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional). Brennan went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double and two RBI, while Rocha was 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Junior David Long (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) dropped to 2-3 with the loss after giving up eight runs on 11 hits in 7.1 innings of work. He also recorded six strikeouts and issued three walks before being relieved by freshman Jack Burke (Reading, Mass./St. John's Prep), who went the final 1.2 frames, allowing just two hits.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Stonehill erupted for six runs in the top of the third. Karalis walked with one out in the frame, before Hoyt and Campbell recorded consecutive singles to load the bases. Baglini came up next and was hit by a pitch, driving in a run, and Schneider plated two more runs on the next play with a single to left field. Fratus followed with Stonehill's fourth hit of the inning, an RBI double to right center, as the Skyhawks took a 4-1 lead. Pagano wrapped up the scoring in the inning with a two-run single to left field, scoring Fratus and Schneider.

Sophomore Chris Hoyt went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs today.

Trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the third, the Falcons rallied to put four runs on the board, all coming with two outs in the inning, to pull to within one. Brennan got it started with a two-out RBI single to right field, and senior Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./Ludlowe) followed with another RBI single, scoring Brennan. Two batters later, Rocha drove in a run with Bentley's fourth consecutive single, which spelled the end of the outing for Stonehill sophomore starter Patrick Nicholson (Middleboro, Mass./Middleboro). The Falcons would add one more run in the inning on a bases loaded walk, as Stonehill led 6-5 after three.

The Skyhawks came right back with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to 8-5. Karalis reached base to lead off the inning on a hit by pitch, and a double by Hoyt put runners on second and third. Campbell drove in a run on the next play with a groundout, advancing Hoyt to third, and Baglini recorded a sacrifice fly to wrap up Stonehill's scoring in the contest.

Bentley would score one more time in the ninth inning and threaten for more, but Rugel was able to work out of trouble to earn the save.

Stonehill (23-15, 12-7 NE-10), which has now won five consecutive games and seven of its last eight, will be back on the road tomorrow with another NE-10 Northeast Division contest at Assumption College. The Skyhawks will then head to Manchester, N.H. this weekend for a key series against division-leading Southern New Hampshire University. Bentley (19-11, 15-4 NE-10) will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as well, as the Falcons are set to take on Merrimack College at 3:30 p.m.

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