Hempstead, NY - Freshman Kevin Brantley's second home run of the game, a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth, gave Hofstra a thrilling 10-9 win over visiting Rutgers Tuesday afternoon. Hofstra had battled back from a 7-1 deficit earlier in the game.
The Pride (23-21) won for the fifth consecutive game, while Rutgers (20-23) suffered its fourth loss in a row.
The Scarlet Knights had taken a 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Charlie Law in the top of the third before Brantley tied the game in the bottom of the inning with his first career long ball, taking an 0-2 pitch from Rutgers starter Jon Young over the left field fence.
Rutgers erupted for six runs in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead. Law did the most damage in the inning with his second home run, a three-run shot to left that closed out the scoring in the inning.
But the Pride would chip away, scoring once in the fourth and four times in the fifth to make it a 7-6 game. TJ Ehrsam had a RBI single in the fourth and in the fifth, Taylor Stuart, Matt Reistetter and Chris Nardo each had RBI doubles.
After Rutgers scored twice in the sixth to take a 9-6 lead, the Pride battled back with two runs in their half of the inning on a Kenny Jackson home run, his seventh of the year, to make it a 9-8 contest.
After Chris Harkey picthed a scoreless seventh, the Pride would tie the game in the seventh as Brantley came through with an RBI single to score Chris Nardo with the tying run. The hit came on another 0-2 pitch.
Graham Tebbit (eighth) and Brett Schreiber (ninth) each pitched a scoreless inning for the Pride to set up the dramatics in the ninth. Rutgers reliever Howie Brey was in his second full inning of work after coming on in the seventh. He retired the first two batters in the inning before Brantley took a 3-2 fastball over the fence in left for the game-winner.
Brantley finished the game 4-5 with three runs and three RBIs. Reistetter and Nardo both had three hits in the game as well, while Stuart and Joe Perez chipped in with two hits. Schreiber (2-2) worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to earn the win.
Brey (2-3) took the loss for Rutgers, allowing one run on three hits in 2 1/3 innings of work. Law, Steve Zavala and Brian O'Grady paced the Scarlet Knights offense with two hits each.
Hofstra travels to Williamsburg, VA, this weekend for a three-game series with The College of William & Mary. Game one starts at 7 p.m. on Friday night.