WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team won big in the first game, 19-1, but then fell 9-7 in the season’s first Patriot League match-up against Army at Fitton Field, splitting the first two games of the four game set. With the day’s finals, the Crusaders go to 10-9 overall (1-1 Patriot League) while the Black Knights mark an equal record of 10-9 (1-1 Patriot League). Freshman Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) had the most productive day offensively for the team, as he went 6-for-9 with three RBI, including his first career home run.
Scoring in the first inning continued to be successful for Holy Cross as the team jumped ahead 4-0 on two hits, including a two-run single by sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) in the first game of the day. After Army tallied one run in the top of the second inning, the Crusaders exploded for a nine-run, seven hit second inning to take a 13-1 lead. Senior Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.) and juniors Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) and Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) tallied two RBI each as Tkowski and Wadsworth also picked up one RBI in the inning.
The hits kept coming as junior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) homered for the fourth time this season, scoring Perry who reached on a single to start the bottom of the third inning. The team finished the third inning scoring three runs on five hits, going ahead 16-1. Three runs and four hits were added after a scoreless fourth inning, giving Holy Cross a 19-1 advantage at the end of the fifth inning. Both teams would not register a run in the final inning and a half as the Crusaders finished ahead by the final 19-1 score.
Army struck first in the second game, marking two runs on two hits in the top of the first inning to go up 2-0. The lead did not last long, as Holy Cross came back to tie the score at 2-2 on a two-run double from Tkowski in the bottom of the second inning. The Crusaders took the upper hand with one run in the bottom of third inning, as Oxford doubled to pick up the RBI, scoring senior John Sills (Milton, Mass.) who doubled earlier. Army battled back for seven unanswered runs, however, tallying one run in the top of the fourth, five big runs on five hits in the top of the fifth inning and one more run in the top of the seventh to move ahead 9-3.
Holy Cross would begin to battle back in the bottom of the seventh inning as Wadsworth homered for the first time in his career, scoring Tkowski who had doubled to lead off the inning. With the home run, a bases loaded walk and a run scored on a wild pitch, the Crusaders found themselves down 9-7 after seven innings of work. The team would get runners in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings, but came up empty as Army took the second game 9-7.
Sophomore Nate Koneski (North Dighton, Mass.) pitched the full seven innings for Holy Cross in game one, picking up his fourth win of the season to improve to 4-1. He allowed just one run on four hits while striking out six of the 27 batters he faced. Army junior Ben Koenigsfeld tallied the loss in the game, moving to 2-2 on the season. He allowed 13 runs (six earned) on nine hits in two innings pitched.
Sophomore Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y.) started the second game of the day, pitching a little over four innings and allowing six runs on six hits. He would also take the loss, falling to 0-2 on the season. Army relief pitcher Logan Lee picked up the win, his first of the season. Junior Kevin McKague, who came in to pitch the final 1.2 innings, would earn the save, his fourth of the season.
On the day, Holy Cross combined for 26 runs on 31 hits while making only one error. The Black Knights scored a total of 10 runs on 15 hits, making four errors overall.
Holy Cross will complete the four-game set against Army tomorrow, April 4. Sunday also features a doubleheader with the first pitch set for 12:00 p.m.