LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Holy Cross baseball team combined for 23 runs on 22 two hits over two games against Bucknell, winning by scores of 7-2 and 16-2 in the final day of action at Depew Field. With the final, the Crusaders move to a 14-13 overall, 4-4 Patriot League record while the Bison collect a record of 13-22, 3-5 Patriot League on the season. Senior Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.) collected a team-high seven RBI on the day, five coming in the second game to lead the Crusaders offense. He went 4-for-7 at the plate with three runs scored as well.
Holy Cross tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the second inning after Bucknell struck first in the bottom of the first inning. With one out and two runners on, junior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) grounded out to the second baseman, picking up an RBI as senior Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.) scored on the play. Two more runs were scored in the top of the third inning as Perry doubled to left center, bringing fellow senior John Sills (Milton, Mass.) and junior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) home to give the team a 3-1 lead.
The Crusaders continued to move ahead, tallying four more runs in the top of the fifth inning, all with two outs. Freshman Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) and junior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) marked multiple RBI on singles in the inning as the team collected four total hits. Bucknell answered with one run in the bottom half of the inning as Holy Cross stayed ahead, 7-2, after five innings of work. The scoring ended in the fifth inning as each bullpen finished strongly, allowing just one additional hit in the final two innings and preserving the final 7-2 score.
Senior starter Matt Shapiro (Raynham, Mass.) pitched just over four strong innings for Holy Cross, earning his second win of the season to register a record of 2-1. He allowed two runs on two hits and striking out two batters as well. Bucknell starter Steve Carlin would take the loss, falling to 2-1 on the season. He allowed seven runs on six hits with two strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
Holy Cross’ offense came up big in game two as the team would combine for 16 runs on 14 hits to complete the Sunday sweep of Bucknell. The bats started early on as two runs came through in the top of the first inning, stemming from back-to-back run scoring hits from Ciardiello, who doubled, and Perry, who singled. The Bison marked one run in the bottom of the inning, but would not get any closer. The Crusaders tacked on two runs in the top of the third inning, the first on a double by Oxford and the second on a fielder’s choice play. The runs continued to come through as the team broke out for five more runs on four hits in the top of the fourth inning, highlighted by a bases clearing, two-run double from Perry. At the end of four innings of play, Holy Cross held a dominating 9-1 lead.
Three runs came across in the sixth inning for the Crusaders, followed by one run in the seventh inning and three runs in the eighth inning as the team went up 16-1. Wadsworth marked a two-run double in the sixth inning, while Perry tallied his fifth RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Sills singled for a RBI and sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) doubled for a RBI in the eighth inning to underline the team’s scoring. Bucknell would score one final run in the bottom of the eighth inning to bring the final score to 16-2.
Senior Chris Blanchard (Norwich, Mass.) made his first start of the season and was a substantial factor in the team’s winning performance. He pitched a little over five innings on the day, allowing just the lone run to score in the bottom of the first inning. He let up six total hits while striking out three batters to move to a 2-1 record on the season. The bullpen also remained strong, giving up only two hits in the final three innings of work. Bucknell’s Jack Boehm would take the loss, falling to 3-2 on the season. He was chased after two innings of work, allowing four runs on six hits.
On the day, Holy Cross scored 23 runs on 22 hits with two errors while Bucknell scored four runs on 11 hits, making three errors.
Holy Cross will look to continue its three-game winning streak with a home game on Tuesday, April 13 against Central Connecticut. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.