WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team out-hit Navy 22-16 but could not complete a two game sweep of the Midshipmen, winning 8-6 and then falling 10-8 in doubleheader action Fitton Field. With the day's results, the Crusaders collect a record of 19-20-1 (6-8 PL) while the Midshipmen move to 24-17-1 (8-6 PL) on the season. Seniors Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) and Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) led the team's offensive charge, combining for eight hits and eight RBI over the two games.
Ciardiello gave the Crusaders an early 1-0 lead after doubling over the right fielder's head in the bottom of the first to bring around fellow senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) who led off with a single. After junior starter John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.) worked his way out of a jam in the second and then got the Midshipmen to go three up, three down in the third, Holy Cross put together three more runs of support in the bottom of the third to take a 4-0 lead. Senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) and sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) tallied RBI hits in the inning, including a double by Oxford and single from Puentes. Sophomore Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) also added a sacrifice fly to score the third run in the inning.
Holy Cross continued to pull ahead, repeating with another three-run effort in the fourth to go up 7-0. McCrea notched a two-run double in the inning, scoring freshman Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) while Puentes added another RBI single, scoring McCrea. Pedrotty continued to shut out the Midshipmen in the fourth and fifth innings while the Crusaders put together one more run on three hits in the bottom of the fifth as freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) collected the RBI on a sacrifice fly.
Navy broke up Pedrotty's shutout attempt in the top of the sixth, loading the bases to chase the southpaw from the mound. The Midshipmen then scored four times off sophomore reliever Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) on two bases loaded walks and then a two-run double. A fielding error allowed two more Navy runs to score as Holy Cross had to go to its closer, sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.) to stop the rally. The Midshipmen did not score again as the Crusaders escaped the inning ahead by two runs, 8-6. After Holy Cross did not score in the bottom of the sixth, Colella completed the save situation in the top of the seventh, not allowing one hit as the Crusaders won out by the final 8-6 score.
Pedrotty moves to 7-2 on the year after pitching a 5.1 inning win, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out six. Navy's starter, Ben Nelson, gets tabbed with the loss, falling to 4-5 after pitching the full six innings. He allowed eight runs on 12 hits and struck out tow. In all, Holy Cross scored eight runs on 12 hits, making three errors while the Midshipmen scored six runs on seven hits.
Navy jumped ahead 4-0 in the first inning of play, collecting just one hit in the outing. Holy Cross got back two runs in the bottom half of the inning as Ciardiello picked up a RBI single and Oxford knocked in another run on a sacrifice fly. Puentes then tied the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the second, sending home Laurendeau and McCrea with a double. Sophomore Chris Kono (Greenwich, Conn.), who replaced starter Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.), shut down the Navy offense in the second through fourth innings, striking out four Midshipmen in the two innings of work. The Midshipmen were then able to capitalize on a double in the fifth, going ahead 5-4 and threatened again in the fifth to chase Kono from the mound.
Five Midshipmen runs came across on five hits in the top of the sixth as the Crusaders found themselves down, 10-4 after coming up scoreless in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Ciardiello broke the scoreless stretch with a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh as Holy Cross came within four runs, 10-6. McCrea then followed with a two-run single in the eighth to bring the Crusaders within two runs, 10-8 as Barry and Maldonado scored, each collecting hits in the inning. Sophomore Nate Walker (San Diego, Calif.) struck out the side in the top of the ninth, but Holy Cross could not bat its way to a full comeback, falling by the 10-8 final.
Hayward, who let up the four runs in the first inning, acquired the losing decision, dropping to 0-2 on the season. Navy reliever Preston Gainey earned the win to move to 1-0 on the season. He pitched three innings, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out six. In all, Holy Cross scored eight runs on 10 hits, committing one error while the Midshipmen score 10 runs on nine hits.
The Crusaders will wrap up the four game series against Navy tomorrow, April 25. Doubleheader action will begin at 12:00 p.m. at Fitton Field.