WORCESTER, Mass. – No. 21 Connecticut scored in eight of the nine innings played as the Holy Cross baseball team dropped a 27-10 decision against the nationally-ranked Huskies at Fitton Field in the final home game of the season. With the loss, Holy Cross registers a 19-17 overall record while Connecticut improves to a record of 30-7 overall. Freshman Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) notched a three-hit game, including a two-run home run to highlight the offense.
The Huskies came up big in the top of the first inning, collecting seven runs on four hits and capitalizing on three costly Holy Cross errors to take a 7-0 lead. Down 8-1, the Crusaders broke through for their first runs in the bottom of the second inning as sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) doubled for the 15th time this season, scoring junior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.), who led off with a single. Tkowski scored the second run on a Connecticut wild pitch. Connecticut then made it a 10-run game, adding four runs on four hits in the top of the third inning.
Puentes brought the score to 12-4 on a deep two-run home run over the scoreboard, tallying his third long ball of the season and scoring junior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) who was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Crusaders ended the inning with four runs scored on three hits as senior John Sills (Milton, Mass) also notched a RBI single to mark the score at 12-6. The Huskies would answer with three runs in the top of the fifth before Ciardiello notched his 46th RBI of the season on a one-run single in the bottom half of inning, bringing the score to 15-7.
Oxford added an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth after Connecticut tallied one run in the top half of the inning, as the Huskies maintained an eight-run advantage, 16-8. Connecticut put in for nine more runs while Holy Cross tacked on two more runs over the final three innings to fall by the final score of 26-10.
Freshman John Colella (Herndon, Va.) started for the third time this year, picking up the losing decision. He falls to 0-2 on the season after pitching just over four innings, allowing 15 runs (10 earned) on 12 hits. Connecticut reliever Ted Hurvul earned the winning decision after pitching two innings. He allowed two runs on four hits while striking out three to improve to 2-0 on the season.
On the day, Holy Cross scored 10 runs on 14 hits, committing three errors. The Huskies scored 27 runs on 25 hits, making one error. Puentes, Tkowski, Oxford, freshman Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and senior Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass) all had multiple hits in the game, collecting 12 hits in all.
The Crusaders will travel to Annapolis, Md., next to take on the Navy Midshipmen starting April 24. The weekend will feature a four-game set between the two squads with a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 and then another doubleheader beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 25. The games will be played at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium.