QUEENS, N.Y. – Junior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) had his day at the plate, tallying a team-best four hits, three RBI and scored the game-winning run as the Holy Cross baseball team defeated Albany, 10-9, in the 10th inning during the first day of action in the Red Storm Tournament at Kaiser Stadium. With the decision, the squad moves to 6-6 on the season while the Great Danes go to 4-11. Junior closer John Colella (Herndon, Va.) stepped up big for the Crusaders on the mound, shutting down Albany for three innings to preserve the squad's win.
Sophomore Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) got the Crusaders off on the right foot, homering in the first at-bat of the game to give the squad an early 1-0 lead. Wadsworth extended Holy Cross' lead to 2-0 in the top of the third, collecting a RBI single with two outs and sending home freshman Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.). Senior starter Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y.) allowed just three hits through the first four innings, keeping Albany scoreless. Wadsworth led the Crusaders offensively again in the top of the fifth inning, knocking out the team's second home run on the day and his first of the season to put the squad up 3-0.
The Great Danes rallied back for three runs on three hits in the bottom half of the inning, chasing Croglio from the mound and tying up the score, 3-3. Holy Cross battled right back to take a 5-3 lead as Ocello helped spark the two-run sixth inning, picking up a RBI single, stolen base and run scored. Ocello's single scored junior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) for the first run while senior Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) tallied a RBI groundout that scored Ocello. Albany followed with a four run bottom of the sixth, taking its first lead of the game, 7-5. The Great Danes put together four hits in the inning, including a two-run single.
Maldonado pulled the Crusaders within one, 7-6, in the seventh with a RBI single, scoring junior Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.), but Albany tacked on two more runs in the bottom half of the inning to remain ahead 9-6. It was Holy Cross' turn to come back in the top of the eighth as Wadsworth started the three-run rally with his third RBI hit, scoring sophomore Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.). Sophomore Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) sent home Puentes for the second run on a single and was followed by Maldonado's game-tying single, scoring junior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.).
Colella took over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth with the score tied at 9-9 and held the Great Dances scoreless for the first time in three innings. After striking out all three Albany batters in the bottom of the ninth, Wadsworth tallied his fourth hit of the day in the top of the 10th. He then scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Enos to give the Crusaders a one-run edge, 10-9. Colella finished strong, getting Albany out in order to keep hold of the team's lead and securing the 10-9 win.
Colella earned the winning decision on the day, improving his record to 2-1 overall. He threw three scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out five. Albany's reliever, Greg Lutton, tallied the loss after allowing the game-winning run. He pitched two innings and goes to 1-1 on the season. In all, Holy Cross scored 10 runs on 15 hits while Albany scored nine runs on 13 hits, committing two errors.
Holy Cross will wrap up action in the Red Storm Tournament tomorrow, March 18. The Crusaders will first play host St. John's at 12:00 p.m. and then face Albany again at 4:00 p.m. All games will be played at Kaiser Stadium in Queens, N.Y.