WINTER PARK, Fla. – Pace University erupted for six runs in the top of the ninth inning and held on for an 8-5 win over Bentley University in non-conference college baseball Saturday evening at Rollins College's Alfond Stadium. The victory was the seventh straight for the Setters.
Bentley, which dropped to 6-8, was led by junior right fielder Tom Nagy (Fairfield, Conn./ Ludlowe HS), with his Northeast-10-leading sixth home run of the spring, and junior Will Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS), with two hits and his 14th consecutive errorless game at shortstop this season.
A 2-2 game heading into the final frame, Pace junior second baseman Jon Kovel (Schenectady, N.Y.) followed a one-out single and a walk with a triple to center. The offensive attack continued with an RBI single by senior shortstop Bobby Horn (Stamford, Conn.), a double by freshman center fielder Michael Viegas (Staten Island, N.Y.), a two-run single by junior third baseman Chris Gill (Manorville, N.Y.) and back-to-back singles by senior outfielder Charlie Galasso (West Harrison, N.Y.) and senior Brandon Martineson (Prospect, Ky.).
Bentley staged a comeback in the bottom half of the inning, but came up short in the end. Senior catcher Kevin Korwek (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) walked on four pitches to start the ninth and Brennan followed with a double to left. After a pitching change, an error allowed Korwek to score and put runners on the corners.
Brennan scored on a wild pitch, and freshman left fielder Bryan Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./ Dighton-Rehoboth HS) had an RBI single, bringing the tying run to the plate. Pace brought senior Edward Byrne ((Yonkers, N.Y.) in from the bullpen, and he retired Bentley senior second baseman Logan Gillis (Merrimack, N.H./Lawrence Academy) on a fly ball to right to end the game.
After Pace took the early lead with a run in the top of the first, Bentley matched it in the bottom of the second. Nagy led off with a walk, stole second after there were two outs and scored on a single up the middle by freshman first baseman Evan Mondor (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth HS).
Pace regained the lead in the fourth, but Nagy answered in the sixth when he cleared the right field wall to open the inning.
Pace doubled the Falcons in hits, 12-6, with Galasso, Martineson and catcher Joe Solomeno (Holbrook, N.Y.) each having two for the 7-3 Setters.
Spoiled with the loss was a solid starting performance by senior righty JP Ashline (Clinton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Reg. HS). He pitched the first seven, giving up five hits and two runs while striking out five.
Bentley will complete the Florida portion of its schedule Saturday when it faces Pace at 11 am.