Pair of slams give Bentley wild win
Keady also set single-season stolen base record in victory
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Grand slams by freshman designated hitter Nathan Witkowski and junior left fielder Greg Baggett helped propel Bentley to a wild 11-10 victory against Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference baseball at Sullivan Park on Tuesday.
It’s the first time in Bentley’s 43-year baseball history that the Falcons have hit two grand slams in a game.
The two clubs went into the final frame even at six runs apiece, despite six Bentley errors that led to four unearned runs for Saint Anselm. The Hawks had threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, but sophomore first baseman Robert Kelly was thrown out trying to score on an errant throw.
Freshman center fielder Sean Keady, who earlier stole his 28th and 29th bases of the season to take sole ownership of the Bentley single season record, led off the Falcon ninth with an infield single. Following a strikeout, senior right fielder Chris Hardy singled to right, a passed ball allowed both runners to move up 90 feet, and junior catcher Kevin Korwek was walked intentionally.
Sophomore shortstop Logan Gillis made the Hawks pay for the free pass, singling to center to drive in Keady with the go-ahead run. Baggett, who already had a homer and a double to his credit, followed with the Falcons’ second grand slam of the afternoon, making it 11-6 Falcons. The home run down the left field line was the eighth of the year for Baggett.
Saint Anselm didn’t go easy in the ninth of its final game of the regular season. Kelly hit a three-run homer and junior DH Daniel DeCoste also went deep as the Hawks closed to within one, 11-10. A single and a hit by pitch put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base, and Bentley coach Bob DeFelice brought in junior Lamarre Rey from first to attempt to get the final out.
An infield single by sophomore left fielder Rett Ostafin loaded the bases, but Bentley survived and Rey recorded his first career save when freshman pinch-hitter Kyle Grumoli lined out to right, stranding the bases loaded.
Bentley faced a 5-2 deficit after four but temporarily took the lead on Witkowski’s fifth-inning two-out grand slam to left center. It was the first career homer for the rookie and the Falcons’ first slam in two years and a day.
The lead vanished in the bottom of the same inning when senior right fielder James Garrigan walked, stole second and scored on Kelly’s single up the middle.
Baggett finished the afternoon with 10 total bases, five RBI, three runs scored and three hits in four at bats, a performance that boosted his slugging percentage to .524. Hardy also had three hits for Bentley and both Witkowski and senior third baseman Ross Curley had two of the Falcons’ 13.
Kelly finished with two hits and four RBI for Saint Anselm, which also received a three-hit effort from freshman shortstop Tito Lluberes (Lawrence, Mass.).
The win was the third in the last five games for Bentley, which is now 14-26 overall and 8-15 NE-10. Saint Anselm finished its schedule at 23-22 overall and 13-13 conference, with its playoff chances dependent on what Stonehill does in its final games.