WINTER PARK, Fla. – Rollins College erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the ninth, the last six unearned, to stun Bentley University, 9-8, in non-conference college baseball at Alfond Stadium Saturday evening.
The late comeback by the Tars spoiled an outstanding performance by Bentley junior righty Luke Dawson (Stamford, Conn./Westhill HS), who struck out 12 in his six innings of work but settled for a no decision.
Bentley carried an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth and was still ahead 8-3 with two outs when an outfield error prolonged the contest. The miscue, which allowed three runs to score, was followed by two singles and a walk-off two-run double down the left field line by sophomore DH Nick Santucci (Franklin, Mass.).
For Bentley (1-3), everyone in coach Bob DeFelice's lineup had at least one hit. Senior second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington, Mass./BB&N), sophomore left fielder Luke Figueira (Taunton, Mass./Taunton HS) and junior DH Austin Farry (Watertown, Mass./Watertown HS) all had two, with both Samko and sophomore center fielder Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) scoring twice,
After a first-inning home run by Rollins, Bentley drew even in the top of the third by stringing together three singles. Troiani led off with a base hit, Samko followed with another, and following a fly out and strikeout, Troiani scored on a single up the middle by Figueira.
The Falcons had only one hit in the fourth but coupled it with a hit batter, two wild pitches and a walk to score twice. Farry, who had led off with a single to left, scored on a fielder's choice with Samko getting the RBI on the go-ahead run. Later in the frame, senior third baseman Peter Bocchino (Saugus, Mass./Governors Academy) scored on a wild pitch, making it 3-1.
Bentley added another run in the sixth with Troiani drawing a leadoff walk and following a failed pickoff attempt, scoring on a sac fly by sophomore first baseman Ryan Berardino (Sudbury, Mass./ Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS).
After Rollins (4-3) scored one in the bottom of the sixth, Bentley regained its three-run lead in the seventh. Figueira was hit by a pitch, moved to third on two wild pitches and after a walk, scored on a double play.
Bentley seemingly broke the game open with three runs in the top of the ninth inning. Farry had an RBI single to right center and graduate catcher Nathan Littman (Abington, Mass./Abington HS) had a two-run single to center.
The two teams will play the second of the three-game series Sunday at 2 pm.