WEST POINT, N.Y. – Holy Cross sophomore outfielder Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) went 5-for-11 with four runs scored, while junior second baseman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) batted 3-for-6 with two runs, two doubles and pair of RBIs as the Crusaders split a doubleheader with Army in Patriot League baseball action on Saturday afternoon at Doubleday Field.
The Black Knights took game one by a score of 10-6, while Holy Cross claimed the second game with a 10-7 victory. The Crusaders' record advances to 23-22 overall and 13-5 in the conference, while Army is now 21-19 on the season and 11-7 in the Patriot League.
In the first game of the afternoon, Army grabbed the early 1-0 lead after the first inning of play. The Black Knights increased the advantage to 4-0 in the bottom of the second frame, but Holy Cross would answer in the top of the third. With runners on second and third, Holy Cross senior outfielder Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) reached on a fielding error, which allowed senior shortstop Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to cross home. During the next at bat, another fielding error by the Black Knights allowed Barry to score, which cut the deficit to 4-2.
However, Army's bats came alive in the bottom half of the fourth inning, as it struck for six runs in the frame. Alex Jensen of the Black Knights hit a three-run homer and teammate Michael Sands blasted a two-run shot during the frame, as Army would go on top 10-2.
The Crusaders tried to mount a rally in the in the top of the sixth inning as three runs crossed the plate to make the score 10-5. Maldonado began the scoring with an RBI-single to plate junior Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.). Two batters later, freshman outfielder Bobby Indeglia (North Kingstown, R.I.) ripped a two-RBI base hit into left field to score Maldonado and Ocello.
Cipolla added one more run for Holy Cross in the top of the seventh inning as he hit a solo home run, his second of the season, down the left-field line, but Army would hang on to claim the victory.
Army starting pitcher Chris Rowley went the distance and picked up the win on the mound (6-3). He allowed six runs (four earned) on 10 hits, while fanning four batters in 7.0 innings pitched. Holy Cross senior pitcher Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) was charged with the loss (3-4). He surrendered eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits over 3.0 innings pitched.
Army outhit Holy Cross 14-10 in the contest as Cipolla was the only Crusader with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI.
In the second game of the day, Holy Cross wasted no time as it grabbed the 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Ocello led off the frame with a single and Barry and junior infielder Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) were both hit by a pitch to load the bases. Holy Cross senior first baseman Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) plated Ocello on a groundout and Puentes scored Barry on a sacrifice fly to give the Crusaders the two-run lead.
Army, however, answered with three runs in the bottom of the first on two home runs by Jensen and Patrick Mescher to give the Black Knight the 3-2 edge. Holy Cross knotted the score at 3-3 in the top half of the second, as Maldonado scored on a wild pitch.
The Crusaders tacked on a pair of runs in the third inning, as Puentes hit a two-run home run, which scored Enos and made the score 5-3. The blast was his seventh of the season, which leads the team and the Patriot League. It was also his 17th career long ball, which is fifth best in Holy Cross history.
Holy Cross scored one run in the fourth as Puentes hit his second sacrifice fly on the game to score Ocello and give the Crusaders the 6-3 advantage. However, Army again rallied, and tied the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the fifth inning, as it pushed three runs across the plate.
Holy Cross continued its offensive showing and added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning. With one out in the frame, senior catcher Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) ripped a double down the left-field line and scored two batters later on an RBI-single by Maldonado to make the score 7-6. Ocello singled on a bunt during the next at-bat to put runners on first and second. Barry then crushed a double into the left-center gap to plate both Maldonado and Ocello to give the Crusaders the 9-6 lead.
Mescher hit his second homer of the contest in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 9-7. However, Ahmed added one last insurance run in the top of the ninth, with his fourth homer of the season over the left field wall, to make the score its final, 10-6.
Holy Cross senior pitcher Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.) earned the win out of the bullpen (5-4), as he tossed 2.2 innings and allowed a pair of earned runs on six hits. Senior hurler John Colella (Herndon, Va.) picked up his fifth save of the season with a perfect 2.1 innings to close out the contest. Army pitcher Jack Verrill was charged with the loss (0-3) as he allowed one earned run on two hits in 3.2 innings pitched.
Ocello had a great game for Holy Cross going 4-for-6 with three runs scored, while Barry, Ahmed and Wadsworth each had multiple hits for the Crusaders. Holy Cross held the 14-11 advantage in hits.
The Crusaders will wrap up its weekend series with Army on Sunday, April 28 with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Doubleday Field.