AMHERST, Mass. – A three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning doomed the Holy Cross baseball team as Massachusetts came from behind to win 12-10 at Earl Lorden Field in the regular season finale. With the final, Holy Cross tallies a 23-23 overall record while Massachusetts marks a record of 13-22 overall. Senior John Sills (Milton, Mass.) would lead the team offensively going 3-for-5 from the plate, collecting three RBI and scoring one run.
Massachusetts put runs on the scoreboard first, picking up a RBI double and scoring on a wild pitch to go up 2-0 at the end of the second inning. Sills evened the score half an inning later, hitting out his first home run of the season and scoring junior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) with one swing of the bat. Sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) went deep two outs later, this time bringing three runs home with his sixth home run of the season to give the Crusaders a 5-2 edge after three innings. Sophomore starter Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y.) would pitch a three-up, three down bottom half of the inning, striking out two Minutemen to remain strong from the mound.
Sills remained perfect from the plate in his third at-bat, tacking on a RBI single in the top of the fourth inning, scoring freshman Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) for a 6-2 advantage. Massachusetts got two runs back in the bottom half of the fourth inning, collecting one hit in the outing to mark the score at 6-4.
Holy Cross then took a two-run advantage after a one hour game delay as Laurendeau kept his hitting streak alive with a run-scoring double in the top of the sixth inning. The Minutemen tied the score at 7-7 with three runs on three hits in bottom of the sixth inning. Each team would then pick up two more runs, combining for five hits in the seventh inning as the score remained tied at 9-9. Junior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) came up big in the top of the eighth inning, as he collected his second RBI on the day, tallying a single that scored the go-ahead run to give his team a 10-9 lead. Massachusetts took the final two-run lead, 12-10, in the bottom of the inning, however, as shortstop Matt Gedman hit a three-run home run off senior Ryan George (Seekonk, Mass.) for the game-winning hit of the day.
George's mistake also cost him the pitching decision as falls to 3-4 on the season. Massachusetts' Glen Misho earned the winning decision, improving to 1-2 on the season. He pitched 2.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit while striking out three batters.
On the day, Holy Cross scored 10 runs on 12 hits while leaving eight base runners stranded. The Minutemen scored 12 runs on 12 hits, leaving four runners on base.
The Crusaders will take the week to practice and prepare for the 2010 Patriot League Tournament which starts Saturday, May 15. The team travels back to Bethlehem, Pa. to take on Lehigh in a three-game series on Goodman Campus. Times will be announced at a later date.