WALTHAM, Mass. – A game-ending ninth-inning double to left center by sophomore shortstop Justin Ashworth (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional HS) brought in freshman right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) from first and gave the Bentley University Falcons a 8-7 win over Saint Anselm College in Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
After Bentley entered the seventh with a 1-0 lead, the two clubs combined for 14 runs and four lead changes in the final three innings before the Falcons left the field victorious.
Bentley scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first when grad student and first baseman Ryan O'Connor (Newburyport/Newburyport HS) lined a single to center. That plated sophomore third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N), who led off with a single through the left side, was sacrificed to second and took third on a ground out.
It stayed that way until the seventh when Saint Anselm struck for three runs. Junior first baseman Nick Bragole (Newburyport) led off with a double to left center. Sophomore DH Dan Bodi (Westford) put down a bunt and reached when the Falcons unsuccessfully tried to get Bragole at third. Junior right fielder Jon McQuarrie (Salem, N.H.) followed with a double to left center with Bragole scoring the tying run and Bodi holding at third.
A sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore left fielder John Marculitis (Shrewsbury) scored Bodi with the go-ahead run, and Saint Anselm added another run, making it 5-3, when McQuarrie came in on a fielder's choice.
Bentley more than countered in its half of the inning, erupting for five runs with grad student and center fielder Mike Muir (Bridgewater/Xaverian Bros. HS) involved in the first four. After the Falcons loaded the bases on two errors and a walk, Muir cleared them with a line-drive triple to the right field corner.
An O'Connor sacrifice fly drove in Muir to make it a 5-3 Bentley lead and the Falcons picked up another run later in the frame on a double by Grover.
Following a scoreless eighth for both teams, Saint Anselm (8-25, 3-9 NE-10 Northeast) regained the advantage with four runs in the ninth, the first three scoring on a game-tying triple to right by freshman center fielder Aaron Crandall (Billerica) off O'Connor, who was facing his first batter of the season. An RBI single by senior third baseman Paul Trabucco (Salem, N.H.) scored Crandall and put the Hawks up 7-5.
Muir led off the ninth with a double to the right field corner. He moved to third on a ground out and scored the tying run on a two-out single to right by Grover. Ashworth followed with the game-winner, his third hit of the afternoon.
Bentley (10-21, 2-10 NE-10 Northeast) totaled 13 hits, including three apiece for Muir and Grover as well as Ashworth. Muir had a hand in five of the team's runs, scoring two in addition to the bases-clearing three-run triple.
McQuarrie led the Saint Anselm offense with three hits in four at bars.
The two clubs will be back at it Saturday afternoon for a noon doubleheader at DeFelice Field, first pitch slated for noon.