WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team scored six unanswered times but came up one run short as the squad dropped a 7-6 decision to in-state opponent Harvard at Fitton Field. With the decision, the squad moves to 11-10 on the season while the Crimson go to 2-16. The Crusaders combined for 14 hits in the contest, including a 2-for-3, one RBI day from sophomore Kyle Stearns (Orland Park, Ill.).
Harvard scored the first run of the game on a long home run to right center, taking the early 1-0 lead. The teams went scoreless in the second and third innings before the Crimson rallied for four runs on four hits, including a two run double in the top of the fourth, jumping ahead 5-0. Harvard chased sophomore Nate Walker (San Diego, Calif.) from the start in the inning as freshman Collin Manning (Charlotte, N.C.) came in to pitch, giving up the double and also getting the last two outs.
Holy Cross remained scoreless, picking up two hits in the bottom of the fourth by Stearns and junior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) but left the bases loaded before the Crimson added two runs in the top of the fifth to make it a 7-0 game. The Crusaders then rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fifth with two outs. Junior Josh Olson (Woodbury, Minn.) boosted the offense with a two-run double, scoring Wadsworth and fellow junior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) who reached on an error. Sophomore Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) followed with a RBI single, scoring Olson as Stearns tallied the final RBI on a single to the shortstop, scoring sophomore Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.). At the end of the inning, the Crusaders had pulled within three runs, 7-4.
The Crusaders chipped away at the Harvard lead again in the top of the seventh as the squad loaded the bases and then scored one run on a fielding error by the Crimson first baseman. Olson touched home for Holy Cross as the score now read 7-5. The squad made its final comeback attempt in the top of the ninth as freshman Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) singled in the leadoff at-bat and then scored to make it 7-6 on a RBI single from senior Chris Sintetos (Bethesda, Md.). With two outs and the bases loaded, the Crimson got Sintetos, who was on first, in a run down, tagging him for the final out as the Crusaders fell by the final 7-6 tally.
Walker picked up the loss, going to 0-4 overall after pitching 3.1 innings. He allowed five runs on six hits while striking out two. Harvard used a total of 10 pitchers in the affair as Baron Davis, the Crimson starter, tallied the win. He allowed no runs on one hit in one inning pitched. Crimson closer, Brent Suter, picked up the save, his first of the season. The final four Holy Cross relievers, junior Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas), junior John Colella (Herndon, Va.), freshman Ryan Filipowicz (Yardley, Pa.) and sophomore Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) combined for four shutout innings, allowing just three additional hits. In all, Holy Cross scored six runs on 14 hits while the Crimson scored seven runs on 12 hits, committing four errors.
Holy Cross returns to action this weekend, opening up Patriot League play at Bucknell. The weekend series features two doubleheaders beginning on Saturday, March 31. The first game on Saturday is set to begin at 12:00 p.m. at Depew Field in Lewisburg, Pa.