WORCESTER, Mass. – Eleven combined runs were scored in the first inning as the Holy Cross baseball team held on for an 8-7 win against Quinnipiac in front of a crowd of 435 at Fitton Field. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 3-7 overall while the Bobcats remain winless, falling to 0-11 on the season. Junior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) was a major factor in the 11-run first inning as he hit his first career grand slam, finishing the game with two hits in four at-bats with four RBI to lead the Holy Cross offense.
Quinnipiac notched four runs in the top of the first inning as senior starter Bobby Holmes (Dedham, Mass.) walked three batters and allowed two hits. The 4-0 Bobcat lead did not last long, however, as Holy Cross answered with seven runs in the bottom half of the first inning. Highlighting the offensive eruption was a home run in the first at-bat of the game for Holy Cross by junior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) and the inside-the-park grand slam by Laurendeau, his second home run in two games. The Crusaders earned a total of three hits in the inning, also including a two-run single by freshman Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.). At the end of the inning, Holy Cross registered a 7-4 lead.
Sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) then tallied the eighth run of the game for Holy Cross, homering in the first at-bat of the third inning to give his team an 8-4 advantage. Tkowski’s home run was the third of the day for the Crusaders. Holmes settled down over the next three innings, allowing no runs and two hits before leaving the game in the top of the fifth inning with the bases loaded. Quinnipiac would earn three runs on two hits in that inning, bringing the score to 8-7 after five innings of play.
Holy Cross would load the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning as Laurendeau doubled for his second hit of the day, but was unable to get a run across as both teams went scoreless through the final four innings. Senior Ryan George (Seekonk, Mass.) entered the game for Holy Cross to face the last four Quinnipiac batters, striking out three Bobcats to pick up his second save of the season, protecting his team’s lead. The Crusaders ended the nine inning affair with the 8-7 victory.
Sophomore John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.), who replaced Holmes in the fifth inning, tallied the winning decision for Holy Cross, his first of the season. He finished the contest pitching 3.1 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out one batter. Quinnipiac pitcher Todd Defrancesco took the loss, falling to 0-3 this season. He pitched five innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. In all, Holy Cross scored eight runs on nine hits, leaving five batters stranded while Quinnipiac scored seven runs on six hits while leaving six men on base.
Holy Cross will travel to Quinnipiac next to wrap-up the two-game series with the Bobcats on Sunday, March 21. First pitch is set for 12:00 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Baseball Field in Hamden, Conn.