PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Three consecutive two-out singles in the bottom of the ninth gave Pace University a 4-3 victory over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference cross-division baseball Friday afternoon at Finnerty Field Friday afternoon.
After junior right-hander Jack Burke (Reading/St. John's Prep HS)) retired the first two batters he faced in the ninth, junior center fielder John Kukura (New City, N.Y.) reached on an infield single to short. Sophomore catcher Mike Gulino (Meriden, Conn.) followed with a single through the right side, his third hit of the afternoon, and junior first baseman Garrett De Lotto (Southbury, Conn.) ended the game with his walk-off single to the left-center field gap scoring Kukura.
Bentley, down 3-0 since the third inning, tied the game in the eighth inning on the first career home run from junior shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS). Sophomore third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington, Mass./BB&N) led off with a single up the middle and first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport HS), a grad student, drew a two-out walk.
After a wild pitch put both in scoring position, Ashworth drove the ball over the left field fence to even the game.
Junior left fielder James Wynne (North Salem, N.Y.) gave Pace a 1-0 lead with a second-inning sacrifice fly and Gulino made it 3-0 with a two-run homer in the third.
Bentley, which was outhit 12-7, left runners on second and third in the first and was unable to take advantage of a leadoff double by freshman right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) in the seventh.
Senior right-hander Dylan Mouzakes (Dix Hills, N.Y.) earned the win for Pace, improving to 5-0, after taking over from senior lefty Michael Forgione (West Harrison, N.Y.) to start the seventh. Forgione pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits. Senior righty Will Alden (Westford, Mass./Westford HS) went eight innings for Bentley, striking out five while giving up nine hits.
Bentley dropped to 6-14 overall and 1-4 in conference play after its fourth one-run loss in its last six games. Pace (16-8), which saw its 3-4-5-6 hitters combine for nine hits in 18 at bats, improved to 4-1 in the NE-10.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday with the first pitch slated for 1 pm.