RINDGE, N.H. – In a back-and-forth contest, the Franklin Pierce University Ravens scored an unearned run in the 10th for a 7-6 walk-off win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday night at Pappas Field.
The loss spoiled the second career grand slam and sixth home run of the season for Bentley junior right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS).
Senior center fielder Adam Chase (Bridgewater, Mass.) opened the bottom of the 10th by reaching on a throwing error. A sacrifice put him on second and a wild pitch moved him to third. After a strikeout for the second out, sophomore DH Dylan Jones (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) singled down the right field line, plating Chase with the game-ending run.
Down 1-0 early, Bentley loaded the bases in the third on consecutive singles by sophomore left fielder Luke Figueira (Taunton, Mass./Taunton HS), sophomore center fielder Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland HS) and freshman third baseman Charlie Auditore (Walpole, Mass./ Walpole HS).
Grover emptied them and put the Falcons up 4-1 with his drive that was about 20 feet inside the right field line. Senior third baseman Mike Samko (Arlington, Mass./BB&N) followed with a triple, making it 28 straight games he's been on base, but the Falcons were unable to capitalize.
A two-run double by Chase in the bottom of the same inning cut the lead to one and it vanished in the fifth on a home run to left center by senior third baseman John Friday (Southborough, Mass.).
A sacrifice fly by junior DH Austin Farry (Watertown, Mass./Watertown HS) in the sixth temporarily back in front, 6-5, but Franklin Pierce responded with two runs in the bottom half of the frame to take the lead back, 7-6. Those both came in on a homer down the left field line by senior right fielder Zack Tower (Auburn, Mass.).
Bentley picked up the tying run in the eighth with graduate catcher Nathan Littman (Abington, Mass./Abington HS) scoring on a double to right off the bat of sophomore shortstop Chris Hopkins (Malden, Mass./Malden Catholic HS).
Hits were even at eight in the game with eight different players having one for the Falcons.
Bentley, with its fourth straight loss, fell to 17-17 overall and 7-8 division with the Falcons now two games in the loss column out of the top four. Franklin Pierce, now 25-12-1 overall, improved to 9-5 in divisional action.
The two teams will continue their three-game series with a noon doubleheader on Saturday.