WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team’s big bats came out once again against Harvard, as the team collected 14 runs on 18 hits, defeating the Crimson 14-1 at Fitton Field. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 9-8 on the season while the Crimson mark a record of 6-12. Junior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) continued his hot hitting at the plate for the team, collecting three hits and four RBI in four at-bats.
The Crusaders jumped ahead early, tallying four runs in the bottom half of the first inning to take a 4-0 lead. After loading the bases on three straight walks, Ciardiello doubled over the right fielder’s head, scoring all three bases runners. Fellow junior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) followed with a RBI single, scoring Ciardiello for the fourth and final run of the inning.
Holy Cross went up 6-0 after scoring two additional runs on two hits in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) drove in both runs on a double to left field, scoring senior Chris Blanchard (Norwich, Conn.) and junior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.), who walked and singled respectively to get into scoring position.
A seven-run, nine-hit outburst followed in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Crusaders went through the order, picking up multiple RBI from freshman Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.), as he doubled for the second time this season and a three-run home run by Laurendeau, his third of the season. With the offensive explosion, Holy Cross held a 13-0 lead after six innings of work. The team added one more run on a RBI single by sophomore Chris Sintetos (Bethesda, Md.) in the bottom of the seventh inning, tallying the final run for Holy Cross. The Crimson would break the shutout in the top of the ninth inning, collecting two hits and one run to mark the final score at 14-1.
Freshman John Colella (Herndon, Va.) earned his first collegiate start for the Crusaders, pitching four hitless innings before being relieved with two outs in the top of the fifth. He would pick up the no decision, allowing just one hit and striking out five batters in all. The Holy Cross relief staff continued with strong outings, allowing just one run on three additional hits in the final four innings. Sophomore John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.) earned the win, improving to 3-0 on the season after pitching one inning of solid work with no hits and one strikeout. Harvard starter Jon Strangio took the loss after being chased out of the game after facing just five batters, allowing four runs on two hits. He falls to 0-1 on the season
On the day, Holy Cross combined for 14 runs on 18 hits while leaving 11 men stranded. The Crimson scored one run on four hits, leaving five runners on base.
Holy Cross will open up Patriot League action with a four-game set against Army starting on Saturday, April 3. Saturday features a doubleheader between the Crusaders and Black Knights starting at 12:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass. Saturday will also serve as the team’s first “Armed Services Day,” honoring those from the Holy Cross community who have served in the Armed Forces.