LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Holy Cross baseball team would attempt another late comeback, but came up just short, losing the first game of a league doubleheader against Buckell, 4-3, before winning the second game, 6-4, at Depew Field.. With the day’s results, the Crusaders go to 12-13 overall, 2-4 Patriot League while the Bison move to an overall record of 13-20, 3-3 Patriot League. Freshman Stephen Wadsworth’s (Wayland, Mass.) big bat led the Holy Cross offense on the day, as he went 4-for-7 at the plate with three RBI and one run scored.
After a scoreless first and second inning, Bucknell tallied the first two runs in the bottom of the third inning, picking up the runs on a bases clearing triple. The Bison added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning before Holy Cross broke through for its first run of the game in the top of the sixth. Wadsworth marked the RBI, his 12th this season, on a single to centerfield, scoring sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) who singled in the second at-bat of the inning. Bucknell answered with an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, returning to a three-run lead, 4-1, after six innings of play.
The Crusaders combined for another late rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, adding two runs on three hits. With two outs, senior John Sills (Milton, Mass.) singled to the pitcher and then advanced to third on a single by fellow senior Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.). Junior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) would come through in the clutch once again for the team, doubling to right center to score both Sills and Perry, bringing the score to 4-3. The ninth inning comeback would just fall short, however, as Tkowski struck out to end the inning. With the strikeout, Bucknell would prevail with the final 4-3 win in game one.
Sophomore starter Nate Koneski (North Dighton, Mass.) pitched his third-straight complete game, but suffered the loss. He falls to 4-2 on the season after pitching six innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out four Bison batters. Bucknell’s Trey Fahler picked up the win to improve to 3-3 this season. He pitched 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out to batters.
Each team notched a run in the second inning, as Wadsworth tallied his second RBI on the day on a fielder’s choice, scoring Perry who had reached on a Bucknell error. The Bison went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning but did not hold the lead long as the Crusaders tallied four unanswered runs, three coming in the top of the fourth inning and one more in the top of the fifth inning. The team combined for four consecutive hits in the fourth inning as Perry started with a single and advanced to second on a single by Tkowski. Wadsworth came through again next, doubling to score Perry for the first run. After Tkowski scored on a ground out by senior Chris Blanchard (Norwich, Conn.), junior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) tripled for the second time this season, bringing Wadsworth home for the final run of the inning. Ciardiello then picked up his third RBI of the day in the fifth inning on double, scoring Sills for the team’s fifth run.
Bucknell would make it a one run game, 5-4, after scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning and again in the seventh. The Crusaders increased their lead to 6-4 in the top of ninth inning as Perry tripled for the first time this season, sending freshman pinch runner Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) home for the final run of the contest.
Senior Ryan George (Seekonk, Mass.) came in to pitch with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and retired the final seven Bucknell batters, including three consecutive strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth inning, to take home his fifth save of the season and protecting his team’s final 6-4 score.
Sophomore Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y.) pitched just over six innings in his fifth start of the season, earning his first win to improve to 1-2 overall. He allowed four runs on eight hits. Bucknell’s Dylan Seeley marked the loss, going to 2-3 this season. He let four runs through on 10 hits and striking out four in seven innings pitched.
On the day, Holy Cross finished the game with nine runs on 20 hits and making two errors. The Bison scored eight runs on 14 hits and also made two errors.
Holy Cross will take on Bucknell for the final two contests of the four-game set tomorrow, April 11, beginning at 12:00 p.m. Sunday also features a doubleheader held at Depew Field in Lewisburg, Pa.