WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team lost its offensive weapons in the final day of action against Patriot League foe Army, falling 6-0 in game one and 10-4 in game two at Fitton Field. With the day’s results, the Crusaders go to 10-11 overall (1-3 Patriot League) while the Black Knights move ahead to an overall record of 12-9 (3-1 Patriot League). Senior John Sills (Milton, Mass.) produced four hits in nine at-bats, tallying an RBI and a run scored to lead the team offensively on the day.
After a scoreless first two innings, Army collected three runs on two hits to take a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning. Junior Clint Moore highlighted the inning with a two-run home run to right field. Holy Cross would scatter just two hits over the first four innings and found themselves down 6-0 after Army tacked on three runs with two outs in the top of the fifth inning. The Crusaders would load the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning, after marking two hits, one from freshman Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) and the other from junior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) but came up with no runs scored. Neither team would notch another run in the final two innings, as the Black Knights shut out the Crusaders 6-0 to complete game one. Senior Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.) earned three of the six Holy Cross hits in the game.
Senior Bobby Holmes (Dedham, Mass.) tallied the loss in game one, falling to 0-3 on the season. He pitched just over four innings, allowing six runs on three hits while striking out four batters. Army senior Matt Fouch pitched the complete seven innings to earn the win, improving to 3-1 on the season. He picks up his second shut out of the season, allowing six hits and striking out five.
Army struck first again, tallying four runs on two hits, including a two-run double in the top of the first inning to go ahead 4-0. The Black Knights would chase freshman starter Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) out of the game in the top of the second inning after drawing the third walk against him. Army would add two more runs in the inning on Moore’s double to right center, going up 6-0. Both teams went scoreless over the next three innings, combining for just five hits before the Crusaders broke through with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning from junior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.), scoring Sills who led off with a single. After six innings, the Crusaders found themselves down 6-1.
Holy Cross scored again in the bottom of the seventh inning, this time on a one-run double by Sills, scoring freshman Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) who got into scoring position on an error by Army’s third baseman. Ciardiello then cut the Army lead in half in the bottom of the eighth inning, hitting a ball deep to left center for his fifth home run of the season. McCrea would also draw a bases loaded walk with two outs, but the team would then leave the bases loaded, staying down 6-4 after eight innings. Two costly, consecutive errors and a hit batsman allowed the Black Knights to score again in the top of the ninth, regaining a six-run lead, 10-4. Ciardiello notched his third hit of the day in the bottom half of the ninth inning as Holy Cross loaded the bases with one out after another error by the Army third baseman. The team left three more runners stranded, however, and fell by the final score of 10-4.
Hayward would take the loss in game two, dropping to 1-2 on the season. He pitched one inning, allowing five runs on two hits. Senior Ryan George (Seekonk, Mass.) came in to pitch five strong innings of relief, allowing just one run to score and five strikeouts in his appearance. Army starter Steven Cummings earned his third win of the season, going to 3-1. He pitched seven innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits while striking out seven. Holy Cross would leave 13 runners stranded in the second contest.
On the day, Holy Cross combined for four runs on 18 hits, making six errors. The Black Knights scored a total of 16 runs on 17 hits, making four errors overall.
Holy Cross will continue its seven-game home stand with a non-conference meeting against Hartford on Tuesday, April 6. The Crusaders and Hawks will face off starting at 5:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.