WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) knocked out his first home run of the season to drive in two runs as the Holy Cross baseball team dropped a 13-4 decision to Central Connecticut at Fitton Field. With the decision, the squad moves to 18-14 while the Blue Devils go to 16-14. Freshman lefty Jeremy Perron (Bradenton, Fla.) pitched in his first collegiate start and struck out three in five innings of work.
Central Connecticut scored the first three runs of the game, tallying four hits off Perron to move ahead 3-0 after the top of the second inning. Cipolla notched his home run in the bottom of the second to make it a 3-2 game, sending home junior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) who doubled in the first at-bat of the inning. Junior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) then knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the third, sending home sophomore Kyle Stearns (Orland Park, Ill.), who collected a double in his at-bat. A sacrifice fly by Cipolla in the bottom of the fourth gave the Crusaders a one-run edge, 4-3 as Perron pitched to just six batters in the third and fourth innings.
A Central Connecticut solo home run off Perron tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fifth. Junior Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) relieved Perron in the top of the sixth as the Blue Devils capitalized on four hits, scoring three times to take a 7-4 lead. The visiting squad put the game away in the top half of the seventh, collecting five additional runs on four hits to pull out to a 12-4 advantage. Junior Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.) came in to pitch during the inning as the Blue Devils scored twice off of wild pitches.
Holy Cross scattered one hit in the bottom of the seventh before Central Connecticut added its final run in the top of the eighth, scoring on a RBI double. Down 13-4, junior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) collected the squad's final hit in the bottom of the eighth as the Crusaders came up scoreless for five full innings, falling by the final 13-4 tally.
Hauser, who pitched the sixth inning, picked up the loss, dropping to 0-1 overall. He allowed four earned runs on four hits and faced 10 batters. Central Connecticut's reliever, Tom Coughlin, earned the winning decision, improving to 2-1. He shut out the Crusaders for 3.1 innings, allowing three hits and striking out five. In all, Holy Cross scored four runs on 11 hits, committing four errors while the Blue Devils scored 13 runs on 15 hits, committing one error.
The Crusaders travel to Dartmouth for the final non-conference contest of the week tomorrow, April 11. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. at Biondi Park in Hanover, N.H.