WALTHAM, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College baseball team rallied twice in the final three innings to take the lead, but Bentley's Justin Ashworth hit a walk-off single to give the Falcons an 8-7 win over the Hawks on Friday afternoon at DeFelice Field.
Bentley (10-21, 2-10 NE-10) held a 6-3 lead after eight innings before Saint Anselm (8-25, 3-9 NE-10) took the lead for the second time with four runs in the top of the ninth. However, the Falcons responded with back-to-back RBI hits from Brandon Grover and Ashworth with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to pick up the walk-off win.
Down by three runs, the Hawks started the top of the ninth by loading the bases on singles by Jon McQuarrie and John Marculitis and a walk to Matthew Flynn. After a wild pitch scored McQuarrie and left runners at second and third, Aaron Crandall hit a two-run triple to right to knot the score at 6-6. Two batters later, Paul Trabucco put Saint Anselm ahead with a line-drive single to right to score Crandall.
Bentley's Mike Muir started the bottom of the ninth with a double to right and stood at third with two outs after a pair of ground balls. Brandon Grover tied the game for the Falcons by singling past a diving Bragole at first and Ashworth followed with a double to left-center field to end the game.
After the Falcons scored a first-inning run, neither team scored until the teams combined for eight runs in the seventh. The Hawks took the lead with three runs in the top of the seventh, scoring on a RBI double by McQuarrie, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Marculitis and a Bentley throwing error with two outs.
Bentley reclaimed the lead by taking advantage of a pair of errors to score five unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh. Muir delivered a one-out, bases-clearing triple, after the Falcons loaded the bases on two errors and a walk, to put the hosts up 4-3. Later in the inning, Bentley added runs on a sacrifice fly by Ryan O'Connor and a Grover double to lead 6-3 after seven.
McQuarrie led Saint Anselm by going 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI, while Crandall drove in a season-high three runs. Trabucco, Bragole and Marculitis each had a pair of hits as well.
Muir was 3-for-5 with a double, triple, two runs and three RBI to lead Bentley's offense. Grover and Ashworth were also 3-for-5 at the plate and combined to drive in three runs.
Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision. Tyler Buck allowed five runs (one earned) in 6.1 innings for Saint Anselm, while Evan Walsh held the Hawks to three runs (two earned) in seven innings for Bentley. Adam Krol also pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts. Seve Llanio took the loss to fall to 2-4, while O'Connor earned his first win of the season.
The two teams complete their three-game set with a noon doubleheader on Saturday, April 23 at DeFelice Field.