TAMPA, Fla. – Despite two hits apiece from sophomore first baseman Ryan Berardino (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) and junior right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS), the Bentley University Falcons fell to second-ranked University of Tampa, 6-1, in the rubber game of a three-game season-opening series Sunday afternoon at UT Stadium.
After scoring a single run in the bottom of the first, Tampa made it a 3-0 game with two in the third. Following a one-out single by senior third baseman Darren Miller (Key West, Fla.) and a two-out single by senior first baseman Harrison Bragg (Lakewood, Wash.), both scored on a double down the right field line by senior right fielder Connor Crile (Anthony, Fla.).
Tampa (2-1) doubled its lead in the sixth. Senior shortstop Brandon Gali (Louisville, Ky.) and junior Stephen Smith (Trenton, Fla.) had RBI singles and the third run of the inning scored on a balk.
Bentley (1-2) got on the scoreboard in the eighth inning. Sophomore center fielder Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS), the hero of Saturday's 7-6 11-inning win over the Spartans, led off with a single up the middle. Senior second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N) replaced him on the bases on a fielder's choice and Samko eventually scored on Grover's single through the right side.
Tampa outhit the Falcons 11-6 with seven of the nine starters having at least one. That list included Smith, who was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Junior right-hander Keven Pimentel (Huntington, Station, N.Y.) earned the win on the mound for the Spartans with four scoreless innings and five strikeout.
Bentley's next action is a three-game series Feb. 17-19 at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.