TAMPA, Fla. – University of Bridgeport junior third baseman Casey McCone (Milford, Conn.) homered and drove in four runs as the Purple Knights took the opener of its four-game series with Bentley University, 8-4, in non-conference college baseball Saturday afternoon at the University of Tampa Stadium.
Bentley, which had won its previous three, dropped to 4-6 while Bridgeport improved to 3-2-1 on the season.
The Purple Knights broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the top of the third. McCone singled to center, moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on a single to center by sophomore first baseman Bobby Schryver (Ansonia, Conn.).
Bridgeport added to its lead in the fourth and once against McCone was involved. After the Knights started the inning with a bunt single and a walk, McCone plated both runs with a single to left, making it a 5-2 game.
Bentley staged a two-out rally in the fifth, scoring twice to draw within one at 5-4. Grad student and first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport HS) singled to center and advanced on an error, junior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS) was hit by a pitch and freshman right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) came through with a triple to right.
Bridgeport picked up insurance runs with one in the eighth on an RBI single by junior center fielder Tyler Gambardella (West Haven, Conn.) and two in the ninth on a long ball, with one aboard, from McCown.
Bentley's 10-hit attack included three by O'Connor, including a double, and two apiece for Grover and sophomore DH Nick Neshe (Waltham, Mass./Waltham HS).
Anthony Alicki (Milford, Conn.), a junior righty, earned the win with six innings of work, and Falcon grad student Bill Sullivan (Carver, Mass./Carver HS) was charged with the loss.
The two teams resume the series Sunday afternoon at 1 pm.