ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy starter Sam Long pitched a nine-inning, complete game shut out in the second game as the Holy Cross baseball team dropped two decisions, 4-3 and 9-0 against Navy in Patriot League action at Terwilliger Brothers Field. With the day's decisions, Holy Cross registers a 19-19 overall record (7-7 Patriot League) while Navy moves to a record of 26-16 overall (6-8 Patriot League) overall. Sudbury, Mass., natives Matt Perry and Jack Laurendeau combined for seven hits on the day, going 3-for-6 and 4-for-8 respectively to lead the Crusaders offensively.
It was a pitcher's duel for three straight innings as both Holy Cross starter Nate Koneski (North, Dighton, Mass.) and Navy's Ben Nelson allowed no runs scored and just three hits. The Crusaders broke into the runs column in the top of fourth inning, as junior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) tallied his third sacrifice fly and 26th RBI of the season, scoring senior John Sills (Milton, Mass.) who led off the inning with a single. Navy would knot the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI single.
The tie did not last long as Holy Cross would go up 3-1 in the next half inning, collecting three consecutive hits from Sills, Perry and freshman Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.). Wadsworth's single brought the go-ahead run home, picking up his 26th RBI of the season. Perry then scored his 40th run of the season after junior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) was hit by a pitch while the bases were loaded. With the hit-by-pitch, Ciardiello collects his 47th RBI of the season, tying the Holy Cross single-season record.
Navy would win the game in the final inning, however, as senior Ryan George (Seekonk, Mass.) walked two batters and let up a two-run single and then the eventual game-winning single, as the Midshipmen spoiled George's 15th appearance, winning by the final 4-3 score.
Koneski collected a season and career-high eight strikeouts on the day, but would earn the no-decision as George took the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season. Koneski pitched five innings, allowing just one run to score on five hits while George allowed three runs through on two hits. Navy's Wes Olson nabbed the winning decision, improving to 3-4 this spring. He pitched the final inning, allowing one hit and one strikeout.
Navy shut down the Crusaders offense as starter Sam Long pitched a complete nine-inning game, allowing five hits overall. Laurendeau and Perry collected four of the team's five hits, as Laurendeau singled in the top of the first and then again in the top of the ninth inning. Perry notched singles in the fourth and in the ninth inning as well.
The Midshipmen scored three runs on three hits in the bottom of the third inning, then added three more runs in the top of the fifth on a three-run home run. After scoring again in the bottom of the sixth inning, Navy completely put the game out of reach with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to mark the final score at 9-0.
Holy Cross used three pitchers in the game, getting the start from senior Bobby Holmes (Dedham, Mass.). Holmes pitched five total innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and ending up with the loss. He falls to a record of 0-4 on the season. Long moves to a record of 4-3 after the complete game, allowing five hits and striking out two batters.
Wadsworth picked up the fifth and final hit for the Crusaders, increasing his hit-streak to seven games. Both Laurendeau and Perry continue their hit-streaks as well, improving to eight and four respectively. Perry and Laurendeau also notch their 17th multi-hit affairs on the season.
On the day, Holy Cross scored three runs on 12 hits. The Midshipmen scored 13 runs on 19 hits, while neither team marked an error in the two games.
The Crusaders wrap up the four-game series with Navy tomorrow, April 25 with another doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. The games will be played at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium in Annapolis, Md.