WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley University Falcons scored seven times in the bottom of the ninth but their comeback fell just short as Franklin Pierce University held on for a 10-9 win in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division baseball Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
With Bentley down 10-2, the bottom of the ninth began with 16 straight balls thrown by the Ravens. An RBI single by junior center fielder Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) made it 10-4 and the second bases-loaded walk of the inning, this one to junior third baseman Jake Pierce (East Bridgewater/East Bridgewater HS), reduced the deficit to five.
Singles by junior DH Ryan Berardino (Sudbury/Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) and senior first baseman Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) each brought in a run and a two-run single by senior right fielder Gino Fordiani (Sudbury/Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) made it a one-run game.
However, the comeback ended when Franklin Pierce freshman righty Danny Gracia (Wilmington) got his third strikeout of the inning, stranding the potential tying run on third and the potential winning run on second.
With the bottom three in the Raven order scoring eight of Franklin Pierce's first nine runs, the visitors opened a 9-0 lead. The big blow was a two-out, bases-loaded triple by senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) in the second.
Bentley got on the scoreboard with two runs in the sixth. Berardino had an RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch.
Franklin Pierce's 13-hit attack featured three hits apiece from Roberto and junior first baseman Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.), who also had three RBI. Senior second baseman Carmine Giordano (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and freshman center fielder Joel Lava (Boston, Mass.) each scored three times.
Graduate student and second baseman Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N) and Berardino each had three hits for Bentley. The Falcons also received two hits from junior catcher Christopher Butler (Danvers/BB&N).
Franklin Pierce improved to 16-13 overall and 5-2 in the NE10 Northeast Division while Bentley dropped to 9-18 and 3-4.
The two teams will be back on DeFelice Field Saturday for a noon doubleheader.