Baseball Topped, 12-3, At #13 Louisiana State In Season Opener

Josh Hauser

BATON ROUGE, La. – Freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) hit a home run in his first collegiate at-bat, but the Holy Cross baseball team could not overcome a nine-run deficit versus No. 13 Louisiana State, dropping a 12-3 decision at Alex Box Stadium. With the decision, the Crusaders open up the 2011 campaign with a record of 0-1 while the Tigers improve to 5-0. Barry finished the contest going 1-for-3 at the plate, scoring one run and tallying the two RBI.

After the Tigers scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning, the Crusaders broke through for two runs in the top of the second. In his first collegiate at-bat, Barry knocked out the two-run home run, scoring senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) who doubled to centerfield for the team's first hit of the game, boosting the Crusaders to a 2-1 lead. LSU tied the score, 2-2, one inning later. The Tigers started to chip away at junior starter John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.) in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring three runs on three hits to take a 5-2 edge.

Holy Cross, who went hitless in the third and fourth innings, came through for its third run in the top of the fifth inning as sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) tapped home senior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) on single to left field after McCrea started the inning off with a walk, bringing the score to 5-3. Sophomore Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) came in to replace Pedrotty in the bottom of the inning, allowing three runs on three hits and hitting one batter as the Tigers pulled out to an 8-3 lead. Pedrotty left the game after four solid innings, allowing five runs on five hits, walking six and striking out two.

After Holy Cross came up scoreless in the top of the sixth, Marra struggled in the bottom half of the inning, giving up a double and a home run  for four LSU runs, dropping the Crusaders back by a 12-3 score. The Tigers pitching staff shut down the Crusaders offense in the final three innings, as the squad could not put together another run, collecting final hits from sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) and junior Chris Sintetos (Bethesda, Md.). Sophomore Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) relieved Marra in the seventh inning and performed well, striking out three of the eight batters he faced and allowing no runs as the Tigers finished ahead by the final 12-3 score.

Pedrotty picked up the losing decision, starting off 2011 with a 0-1 record. LSU's starter, Kevin Gausman, moves to 1-0 on the season after allowing three runs on four hits in six innings pitched. In all, Holy Cross scored three runs on six hits, making two errors while the Tigers notched 12 runs on 11 hits, committing one error.

Holy Cross continues the three-game series against LSU on Saturday, February 26. Game time is slated for 4:00 p.m. EST at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.