Crusaders Outlast Yale, 11-9

Nick Ciardiello

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Junior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) collected his 48th and 49th RBI of the season with two doubles on the day, breaking the Holy Cross single-season record in  RBI and allowing the go ahead run to score in the top of the ninth inning, as the Holy Cross baseball team outlasted Yale, 11-9, at Yale Field. With the win, Holy Cross improves to a 22-19 overall record while Yale moves to a record of 17-20-1 overall. Fellow junior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) went a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored while seniors John Sills (Milton, Mass.) and Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.) combined for four RBI on the day, totaling four hits in eight at-bats to lead the Crusaders offense.

After Laurendeau continued his 10-game hit streak with a lead off single in the top of the first inning, Perry followed in Babe Ruth's footsteps, hitting a rare home run over the historic Yale Field centerfield scoreboard to boost his team to an early 2-0 advantage. The Bulldogs would answer with one run on two hits in the bottom of the first inning, bringing the score to 2-1 at the end of one inning played. Yale then scored four runs, including a home run to leftfield, in the bottom of the second inning, chasing sophomore starter Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y.) from the game and going up 5-2.  

Holy Cross came back with four runs in the top of the third inning, retaking a 6-5 lead. The team collected four hits in the outing, as Sills, freshman Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.), junior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) and sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) all tallied RBI. Sills then extended the squad's lead to 7-5 in the top of the fourth inning, picking up a groundout RBI that scored freshman Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.), who led off with a single.

Yale added one run in the bottom of the fourth inning and then tied the score once again at 7-7 on a wild pitch by freshman reliever Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) in the bottom of the fifth inning. A double play ball allowed the Crusaders to regain an 8-7 advantage as Laurendeau remained perfect at the plate with a lead off single, a stolen base and the run scored. Ciardiello lengthened the lead back to two runs, 9-7, in the top of the seventh inning on a RBI double, his 48th RBI and 58th hit on the season. The Bulldogs clawed back to tie the score for the third time in the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, 9-9, on a RBI single off senior closer Ryan George (Seekonk, Mass.).

Ciardiello then came up big in the top of the ninth inning, hitting the game-winning double, his 19th of the season, scoring Tkowski who singled in the second at-bat. The Crusaders scored one last run on a wild pitch as George pitched a three-up, three-down bottom of the ninth inning to secure his team's 11-9 victory.

George also tallied the winning decision to improve to 2-2 on the season. He finished the game pitching two innings, allowing two runs on three hits with one strikeout. Yale's Andy Megee took the loss, falling to 0-2 on the season. He pitched the final two innings, allowing the game-winning two runs to score in the top of the ninth inning also striking out two batters.

On the day, Holy Cross scored 11 runs on 16 hits while leaving seven base runners stranded. The Bulldogs scored nine runs on 13 hits, leaving 10 runners on base. 

The Crusaders play in their final regular-season Patriot League series this upcoming weekend, traveling to Bethlehem, Pa., for a four-game set with Lehigh. The game's will be played on Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2. Both days feature doubleheaders beginning at 12:00 p.m. both days on the Mountain Hawk's home field of Goodman Campus.