CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Junior starter Chris Kono (Greenwich, Conn.) allowed just one hit in just over five innings pitched as the Holy Cross baseball team picked up a 5-1 victory against host Charlotte at the Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. With the decision, the squad moves to 3-4 on the season while the 49ers go to 9-4. Fellow junior John Colella (Herndon, Va.) finished with 3.2 shut out innings on the mound, tallying his first save of the season.
The Crusaders pulled out to a 4-0 lead after the first four innings of action, tagging one run in the second and three runs in the top of the third. Senior Chris Sintetos (Bethesda, Md.) put the Crusaders' first run on the board in the second, scoring junior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) who led the inning off with a double. In the third inning, freshman Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) brought home the first run on a sacrifice fly, scoring sophomore Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) who singled to reach in the first at-bat. Junior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) then connected on a bases clearing double, sending home sophomore Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and senior Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.).
Kono allowed just one hit through the four innings, striking out two 49ers. He was relieved by Colella with one runner on in the bottom of the sixth. Colella struck out two batters in the inning despite allowing a run to score on a wild pitch. At the end of six innings, the Crusaders held on for a 4-1 lead.
Junior Alex Maldonado's (Brooklyn, N.Y.) speed got the best of 49ers in the top of the seventh as the shortstop scored from second base on a throwing error by Charlotte's first baseman for the fifth run in the game. Charlotte put a runner in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning, but Colella remained unfazed on the mound, getting the two final batters to pop up without allowing another run to score. Ahead 5-1, Colella got the 49ers out in order in both the eighth and ninth innings, defending Holy Cross' lead as the squad finished with the victory.
Kono earned the win in the affair, improving to 1-0 overall. He pitched 5.1 innings, giving up one unearned run on one hit while striking out three. Colella earned the saved in 3.2 innings of work, also striking out three batters. Charlotte's starter, Tyler Pilkington takes the loss, falling to 0-2 overall. He allowed four runs on five hits. In all, Holy Cross collected five runs on nine hits with one error while the 49ers notched one run on two hits, making three errors.
Holy Cross continues spring break action at No. 20 Clemson tomorrow, March 7. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C.