EASTON, Pa. – Senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) homered twice to break the Holy Cross career home run record as the Holy Cross baseball team split the day's doubleheader against Lafayette, winning 6-5 and losing 10-6 at Kamine Stadium. With the day's results, the Crusaders collect a record of 16-18-1 (4-6 PL) while the Leopards move to 12-19 (6-4 PL) on the season. Sophomore catcher Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) continued his hot hitting to lead the offense on the day, going five-for-eight at the plate with a home run and double.
The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Wadsworth singled to send home senior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.), who singled to reach base in the second at-bat of the inning. The Leopards scored twice in the bottom of the second inning to gain a 2-1 edge, tagging junior starter John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.) with a two-run home run. Ciardiello belted out his first home run of the day in the top of the fourth, tying the score at 2-2. McCrea then homered down the right field line in the next inning to give Holy Cross back a 3-2 lead. The Leopards answered right back with another home run, retying the score at 3-3 heading into the sixth inning.
The Crusaders put three runs across home plate in the top of the sixth off four hits as sophomores Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) both singled in consecutive at-bats. Freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) sent Maldonado home on a RBI-single through the left side and then came around to score, along with pinch runner Chris Sintetos (Bethesda, Md.) after senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) doubled. Lafayette inched closer with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, chasing Pedrotty from the mound after scoring two runs on a triple. Sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.) replaced Pedrotty and allowed one more runner to reach base, but got out of the jam with a strike out and ground out to end the inning with the Crusaders still ahead, 6-5. The Holy Cross defense stepped up big in the final inning as Laurendeau and senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) as well as Wadsworth put together a play at the plate to keep the tying run from scoring in addition to making the final out. With the play, Holy Cross escaped with the 6-5 win.
Pedrotty earns his sixth win of the season, improving to 6-2 overall, after pitching 5.1 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out seven. Colella picks up his fifth save of the season, letting up two hits and striking out two in his 1.2 inning outing. Lafayette's starter, Zach Fritz, drops to 2-3 on the year after pitching six innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits and collecting four punch outs. In all, Holy Cross scored six runs on 10 hits while the Leopards scored five runs on 10 hits. McCrea and Wadsworth led the team with two hits each.
Lafayette got to sophomore starter Chris Kono (Greenwich, Conn.) for five runs in the bottom of the first inning, capitalizing on all five of its hits, including a two-run triple. The Leopards pulled out to a 7-0 lead, scoring one run in the bottom of the third and one in the bottom of the fifth before Puentes finally put Holy Cross on the board, knocking out a two-run home run, his first of the season, to right field in the top of the sixth to bring the score to 7-2. Three Lafayette runs came across in the bottom of the seventh as the Leopards went ahead by eight runs, 10-2.
Three Holy Cross home runs finished out the game as Wadsworth homered in the top of the eighth followed by a solo shot by Sintetos in the first at-bat in the ninth. After pinch hitter Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) singled to reach base, Ciardiello knocked out his 22nd career home run, breaking the record. The Crusaders could not complete the comeback, however, and after scoring three runs in the ninth, finalized the score at 10-6.
Kono took the loss, falling to a record of 0-3 on the season. He lasted one inning, allowing five runs on six hits. Lafayette's Ethan Perro gets credited with the winning decision, improving to 3-2 on the season. He went 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five. In all, Holy Cross scored six runs on 10 hits and made two errors while the Leopards scored 10 runs on 11 hits, committing two errors. Wadsworth went three-for-five at the plate with two runs scored and one RBI to lead the team offensively
The Crusaders wrap up the four-game series with Lafayette tomorrow, April 18. First pitch of the first doubleheader is set for 1:00 p.m. at Kamine Stadium in Easton, Pa.