TAMPA, Fla. – Junior center fielder Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) scored three times and sophomore righty Jimmy Hodgson (Newton, Mass./Newton North HS) pitched four perfect innings of relief as Bentley University defeated the University of Bridgeport for the second straight day, 7-4, in non-conference baseball at the University of Tampa Baseball Field Tuesday afternoon.
Bentley, which outhit the Purple Knights 10-6, broke a 4-4 deadlock with two runs in the fifth inning. Grad student and catcher Mike Samko (Arlington, Mass./BB&N) drew a lead-off walk. After a pitching change, Troiani greeted reliever Ryan Kastner (Bridgewater, N.J.) with a double to left, putting two in scoring position. Samko scored the go-ahead run on a balk and one out later, senior right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) plated Troiani with an RBI single to right.
Hodgson, who was credited with a save, took over from there and struck out three of the 12 batters he faced. He threw only 48 pitches during his four innings of work with 33 of those strikes.
Bentley (2-10) jumped out to a 3-0 start with two runs in the first and another in the second. The first inning included an RBI single by junior first baseman Ryan Berardino (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) and a sacrifice fly by Grover. Another sacrifice fly brought in the second-inning run, this one off the bat of Samko.
After Bridgeport (1-10) took advantage of an error to score four unearned runs in the fourth, Bentley came back to tie in the bottom of the inning. Junior third baseman Jake Pierce (East Bridgewater, Mass./East Bridgewater HS) drove in senior DH Austin Farry (Watertown, Mass./ Watertown HS) from second with a single to right.
Bentley's ten hits included two apiece from Pierce and junior left fielder Luke Figueira (Taunton, Mass./Taunton HS). Samko scored twice and Grover had a pair of RBI, pushing his team-leading total to 11.
Hodgson saved the game for senior righty Paul Fristoli (Watertown, Mass./Arlington Catholic HS), who gave up six hits and the four unearned runs in his five innings of work.
Bentley will continue its week in Tampa Wednesday at 6 pm against the No. 5-ranked University of Tampa Spartans.