LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – After a week off from game action, the Holy Cross baseball team returned for a marathon 13 inning contest, dropping a heartbreaking 6-5 decision to Siena at Siena Field. With the day’s decision, the Crusaders collect a 2-6 overall record while the Saints tally an overall record of 5-11 on the season. Junior Nick Ciardello (Edison, N.J.) led the Crusader offense with two doubles and two RBI in six at bats.
The Crusaders pulled ahead early, scoring one run on three hits in the top of the first inning. With two runners on, Ciardello doubled, scoring fellow junior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) who led off the inning with a single.
Holy Cross then piled on three additional runs in the top of the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. With one out, junior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) homered for the first time this season. Four consecutive hits followed, as senior Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.) knocked in the first run on a single. Sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) singled for the second time in the game, bringing McCrea home once again. The Crusaders finished the inning with three runs on five hits.
With Holy Cross up 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, Siena began to battle back. A costly error by the Crusaders would allow two runs to score as the Saints ended the bottom of the fourth inning with three runs on two hits, bringing the score to 5-3. Siena then chipped away more, tallying one run in the bottom of the fifth inning and then knotting the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning on a bases clearing single.
Neither team was able to tack on another run by the end of the ninth inning, as Holy Cross and Siena had just two hits apiece over the three innings. Three more extra innings followed without a team scoring as Holy Cross went hitless and the Saints earning two more hits. The game came down to the bottom of the 13th inning. With two outs and two runners on, Siena freshman pinch hitter Kyle Baldani singled through the left side, scoring the go ahead run. The Saints would end the 13 inning contest with a 6-5 win.
Holy Cross used five pitchers in the outing, including five strong innings from senior starter Matt Shapiro (Raynham, Mass.) who earned a no decision. He finished the game allowing five runs (two earned) on eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Senior Bobby Holmes (Dedham, Mass.) entered the game for the final one and one third innings, picking up the loss. He goes to 0-1 on the season after allowing one run on two hits and striking out two batters. Siena’s Robert Tedesco earned the win and goes to 2-2 on the season. Tkowski tallied a season-high three hits in the game as the Crusaders finished with five runs on 13 hits while the Saints collected the game-deciding six runs on 14 hits.
Holy Cross will host Brown tomorrow, March 18 in the team’s home opener of the 2010 season. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.