WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross junior Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) went 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs, a pair of doubles and a three-run home run to help lead the Crusaders to a 10-5 win over Maine in non-conference baseball action on Tuesday afternoon at Fitton Field. With the win, Holy Cross improves to 12-27 on the season, while the Black Bears fall to 14-22 overall.
After a scoreless first by both teams, Maine grabbed the early lead with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. Holy Cross responded in the bottom half of the frame with five runs to make the score 5-2. Ocello got the scoring started with a three-run home run – his third of the season – to score sophomore Connor Perry (Haverhill, Mass.) and freshman Bill Schlich (Massapequa, N.Y.). Later in the inning, Holy Cross freshman Anthony Critelli (Holmdel, N.J.) plated junior Jack St. Clair (Newton, Mass.) and sophomore Nick Lovullo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) on a two-RBI-single to give the Crusaders the three-run lead.
Maine, however, countered with one run in the third inning and two in the fourth to knot the score at 5-5. Holy Cross broke the stalemate in the bottom half of the fourth, as senior Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) scored on a Maine balk to give the Crusaders the 6-5 lead. Holy Cross added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Ocello laced a double over the center fielder's head and Lovullo walked during the next at bat to put two men on base. The pair then executed a double steal to move into scoring position and crossed home during the same at bat on a two-RBI single by St. Clair to make the score 8-5.
Holy Cross scored its final two runs of the contest in the bottom of the eighth inning. Cipolla and freshman Chris Minteer (Lake Tapps, Wash.) both walked to begin the inning. After Cipolla moved over to third on a wild pitch, he scored on an RBI-single by Perry to give Holy Cross the 9-5 lead. Three batters later, sophomore Bobby Indeglia (North Kingstown, R.I.) drove in Minteer on an RBI-single to make the score its final, 10-5.
Holy Cross freshman pitcher Zach Fox (Los Gatos, Calif.) earned his first collegiate win (1-0) with three scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He allowed three hits and one walk, while fanning two batters. Crusader junior Collin Manning (Charlotte, N.C.) picked up his first career save, as he pitched the final two innings of the game and allowed only one hit. Maine relief pitcher Luke Morrill was charged with the loss (0-1), as he surrendered three runs on four hits in two innings pitched.
Cipolla (3-for-4, two runs), St. Clair (2-for-5, one run, two RBIs), Critelli (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Indeglia (2-for-5, one RBI) all had multiple hits for the Crusaders who held the 16-11 advantage in the hitting department.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, April 23, when it will travel to Siena for a 4:00 p.m. contest.