MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Junior first baseman Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) notched a career-best plate performance, marking five hits in five at-bats with two RBI, but the College of Charleston outscored the Holy Cross baseball team 5-1 in the sixth and seventh innings to take a 10-7 win at Patriots Point. With the loss, the Crusaders head into the weekend with a record of 1-3 while the Cougars collect a 7-1 overall record. Junior Nick Ciardello (Edison, N.J.) tallied a team-high and season-high three RBI in the contest as well.
With one runner on and two outs in the top of the first inning, Oxford belted his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to right field, scoring sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.), who reached base after getting hit by a pitch. His home run gave Holy Cross an early 2-0 advantage.
The Cougars came back for one run in the bottom half of the first inning and again in the second inning to knot the score at 2-2. The Crusaders broke the tie in the top of the fourth inning on a double to left center by Ciardello. His double allowed Oxford to score, who led off the inning with a single, his second hit of the day. College of Charleston answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, as it earned the go ahead run after senior starter Bobby Holmes (Dedham, Mass.) hit a batter with the bases loaded. At the end of four innings played, the Cougars held a 4-3 edge.
After the College of Charleston scored an additional run in the bottom of the fifth inning, Holy Cross scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to bring the score to 6-5. Oxford, who notched his third hit in as many at-bats, led off with a single and advanced to second base on a single from sophomore Chris Sintetos (Bethesda, Md.). Ciardello followed with his second double of the day, scoring the two base runners. He advanced to third base on a wild pitch and then scored the third run in the inning on a passed ball to give his team the one-run edge.
The Cougars would outscore the Crusaders in the next two innings, 5-1, however, retaking a 10-7 lead. College of Charleston combined for six hits in the sixth and seventh innings, earning three runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh inning. Holy Cross senior John Sills (Milton, Mass.) would tally the seventh Holy Cross run in the seventh inning on an error by the Cougar second baseman. Sills' run was the final run scored by Holy Cross in the game as the team went three-up, three-down in both the eight and the ninth innings, falling by the final score of 10-7.
In his season debut, Holmes threw a total of 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out five batters. Senior Chris Blanchard (Norwich, Conn.) picked up the losing decision, allowing four runs to score on six hits in 2.0 innings pitched. He goes to 0-1 on the season. College of Charleston's senior pitcher Tom Schiller took the win, improving to 2-0 this season after allowing one run on two hits in 2.0 innings pitched. In all, Holy Cross scored seven runs on 12 hits while the Cougars took the upper hand in runs, scoring 10 runs on 12 hits.
Holy Cross continues its Charleston, S.C. road trip, playing against Charleston Southern for a three-game series beginning Friday, March 5. The first contest will be held at Buccaneer Ballpark beginning at 2:00 p.m.