NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Holy Cross senior catcher/first baseman Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) and sophomore outfielder Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) each had a pair of hits as the Crusaders were defeated by Central Connecticut, 5-4, in non-conference baseball action on Tuesday afternoon at CCSU Baseball Field. With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 14-12 overall, while Holy Cross falls to 14-17 on the season.
After two scoreless innings by both teams, Central Connecticut broke open the scoring in the bottom of the third frame with a pair of runs to grab the 2-0 advantage. In the bottom half of the fourth inning, the Blue Devils struck for two more scores as they increased the lead to 4-0.
The Crusaders were able to break the scoring drought in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs in the frame, Enos hit his Patriot-League-leading 13th double of the season down the left-field line. During the next at-bat, Holy Cross senior infielder Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) hit a base-knock into right field to plate Enos and cut the deficit to 4-1. Central Connecticut, however, added what would prove to be a key run in the bottom of the seventh inning, which increased the margin to 5-1.
Holy Cross' offense started to heat up late in the game as the Crusaders would try to rally from behind. With two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Enos hit an infield single and moved over the second as Ahmed walked in the next at-bat. Holy Cross freshman catcher Connor Perry (Haverhill, Mass.) then ripped a double down the left-field line to plate both Enos and Ahmed and cut the score to 5-3.
In the top of the ninth, Holy Cross kept the offensive momentum going as senior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, Mass.) and Ocello hit back-to-back singles to begin the frame. Two batters later, senior outfielder Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) hit an RBI-single to left field to score Maldonado and make the score 5-4. However, the Crusaders could not tie the score as the Blue Devils would go on to claim the victory.
Holy Cross senior pitcher Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.) was charged with the loss (2-4) as he allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits over 2.1 innings pitched. Central Connecticut starter Tom Coughlin picked up the win (1-0) as he worked 7.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits. Coughlin walked and struck out four batters apiece. Nick Boyd picked up his first save of the season for the Blue Devils as he pitched 1.1 innings and surrendered three hits and one earned run.
Enos went 2-for-5 on the day with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs, while Enos went 2-for-4. Ahmed went 1-for-2 with one run and RBI as well as his eighth stolen base of the season.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, April 10, as it will host Dartmouth at Fitton Field with the first pitch set for 4:00 p.m.