ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Senior right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) led off the bottom of the ninth with his second home run of the game, his third in the last three games and his fourth of the season to give Bentley University an 8-7 win over the University of Bridgeport in the nightcap of a non-conference college baseball doubleheader at Lake Brantley High School Saturday afternoon.
Grover's walk-off was the tenth home run of the twinbill. Five of those were hit by Bridgeport en route to a 15-3 victory in game one.
Grover finished game two 3-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored. His game-winner came after the Purple Knights (2-15) erupted for three runs after two were out in the top of the ninth to forge a tie.
Bentley, 6-8 after winning for the fifth time in its last seven games, trailed 4-0 early but pulled within one, 4-3, on a two-run single by sophomore third baseman Jake Pierce (East Bridgewater, Mass./ East Bridgewater HS) in the bottom of the sixth.
In the seventh, after a walk by senior second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington, Mass./ Arlington HS) and a double from sophomore center fielder Max Troiano (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS), Grover cleared the bases and put the Falcons in front 6-4 with a three-run blast to right.
Samko, who was 4-for-4 with a homer and three runs in game two, extended Bentley's lead in the bottom of the eighth when he scored an unearned run.
Freshman right-hander Ronald Orie III (Sandy Spring, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel HS) gave up the three Bridgeport runs in the ninth but claimed his first collegiate when Grover greeted Bridgeport reliever Matt Alicki (Milford, Conn.) with the game-winner to right.
In the opener, Bridgeport received home runs from senior center fielder Daren Grabowski (Berlin, Conn.) to lead off the game, graduate DH Tom Rinaldi (Waterbury, Conn.) in the fourth, junior second baseman Mark Hirschbeck (Trumbull, Conn.) during a four-run sixth and both senior right fielder Ben Torres (Hollywood, Fla.) and senior left fielder Isaiah Rivera (Newington, Conn.) during a five-run ninth.
Samko and sophomore shortstop Chris Hopkins (Malden, Mass./Malden Catholic HS), who both have eight-game hitting streaks, each had two hits for Bentley in the opener, as did Troiani, who also had two in game two.
The two teams will close out their weekend series Sunday at noon with Bentley looking to make it three out of four.