WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team could not contend with three damaging home runs by Brown, falling 13-7 in the 2010 home opener at Fitton Field. After the loss, the Crusaders gather a 2-7 overall record while the Bears tally their second win, moving to 2-7 on the season. Senior John Sills (Milton, Mass.) collected three RBI and two hits on the day to lead the squad offensively.
Brown jumped on starter Nate Koneski (North Dighton, Mass.) early, earning three runs, including a two-run home run in the top of the first to go up 3-0. Holy Cross answered with a four run bottom half of the first inning, as junior Nick Ciardello (Edison, N.J.) tallied the first RBI on a single, scoring fellow junior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.), who was hit by a pitch to start the inning. With two outs, freshman Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) drew a bases loaded walk to score sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.), who singled earlier to get on base. Sills rounded out the offensive outbreak for the Crusaders, notching a two-run single to put his team up 4-3.
The Bears would come back with four runs in the top of the second inning on four hits, including a three-run double by junior Ryan Zrenda to take a 7-4 lead. The Crusaders tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Junior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and advanced to third on single by McCrea. Senior Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.) then singled, bringing Laurendeau home. Ciardello followed with a one out double, scoring McCrea and marking the score at 7-6.
Brown added an insurance run to regain a two-run lead in the top of the fifth and then scored five more unanswered runs, one in the top of the seventh inning and four in the top of the eighth inning to gain a 13-6 lead. Highlighting the eighth was the second home run of the game by Bears first baseman Pete Greskoff, also the third home run of the day for the entire team. Holy Cross gave it one last shot in the bottom of ninth, collecting one run on three hits, including the third RBI of the day for Sills. The last inning effort was not enough, however, as the Crusaders fell by the final score of 13-7.
Koneski took the loss, going to 2-1 on the season. He finished the outing with 5.2 innings pitched, allowing eight runs on nine hits while striking out five batters. Bears reliever Kevin Carlow earned the win, improving to 2-0 on the season. He pitched a total of 4.1 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out five. The Crusaders collected seven runs on 12 hits in the game while leaving 12 base runners stranded. The Bears marked 13 runs on 11 hits, leaving six men on base.
Holy Cross will next host Quinnipiac as the beginning of a two-game series on Saturday, March 20. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.