LEWISBURG, Pa. – Holy Cross senior starting pitcher Nate Walker (San Diego, Calif.) pitched a complete-game two hitter in game one with a career-best six strikeouts, as the Crusaders split a doubleheader with Bucknell in Patriot League baseball action on Sunday afternoon at Depew Field. Holy Cross won the first contest, 4-0, while Bucknell claimed the 7-3 victory in game two. The Crusaders finish the season at 13-31 overall and 4-14 in the conference, while the Bison are now 25-17 overall and 15-5 in the league.
GAME 1: Holy Cross 4, Bucknell 0
The Crusaders opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, as junior Jack St. Clair (Newton, Mass.) plated senior Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) on a base knock to right field. St. Clair was picked off during the next at bat, but while he was being chased down senior Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) crossed home to give the Crusaders the 2-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning by both teams, Holy Cross pushed across the final two runs of the game in the top of the third. Junior Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) led off the frame with a triple into center field. Two batters later, he scored on an RBI-single by sophomore Nick Lovullo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) to give the Crusaders the 3-0 lead. Cipolla and St. Clair reached with a single and walk, respectively, to load up the bases, as freshman Alex Voitik (Shorewood, Ill.) was then hit by a pitch to score Lovullo and make the score 4-0.
Walker pitched phenomenal for the Crusaders, as he held the Bison hitless through six full innings. In the bottom of the seventh, he struck out the first batter of the frame for his career-best sixth strikeout of the game. Bucknell, however, broke up his no-hit bid with a single through the right side and another base knock to put two men on base. Walker responded and was able to force an inning-ending double-play to clinch the 4-0 shutout victory for Holy Cross.
Walker picked up the win (3-4) as he tossed a two-hit shutout with a career-best six strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters. Bucknell starter Andrew Andreychik was charged with the loss (5-4), as he allowed four runs on nine hits in six innings pitched.
Ocello (3-for-4, one run) and Cipolla (2-for-3, one run) were the only Holy Cross players with multiple hits, as the Crusaders held the 9-2 advantage in total hits.
GAME 2: Bucknell 7, Holy Cross 3
After two scoreless frames to begin the second game, Holy Cross put up a crooked number in the top of the third inning. Crusader freshman Josh Hassell (Tulsa, Okla.) led off the inning with a single and moved over to third during the next at bat on a double by sophomore Bobby Indeglia (North Kingstown, R.I.). Ocello then plated Hassell on a single, but Indeglia was thrown out at the plate trying to score. Barry kept the rally going with a single to put runners on the corners and moved over to second during the next at bat on a groundout. Cipolla then scored both Ocello and Barry on a single into the right-center gap to give Holy Cross the 3-0 lead.
Bucknell, however, tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning on four hits during the frame. The Bison had the bases loaded with two outs in the inning, but Holy Cross freshman relief pitcher George Capen (Gainesville, Va.) came in and struck out the final batter of the frame.
The Bison broke the stalemate in the bottom of the sixth inning with four runs to earn the 7-3 lead. The Crusaders managed only one hit over the final three frames, as Bucknell would go on to claim the victory.
Bison starter Xavier Hammond picked up the win on the mound (3-4), as he tossed eight innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with five punchouts. Crusader freshman reliever Jon Escobar (Inverness, Ill.) was charged with the loss (0-4), as he surrendered four earned runs in the sixth inning.
Bucknell edged Holy Cross with a 10-9 advantage in total hits, while Indeglia (2-for-4) was the only Crusader with multiple hits.