BATON ROUGE, La. – Sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) reached base three times in four at-bats, collecting three singles as the Holy Cross baseball team's leadoff man, but could not lift his team to a win versus No. 13 Louisiana State, as the Crusaders fell, 14-3, at Alex Box Stadium. With the decision, the Crusaders fall to a record of 0-2 while the Tigers tally a perfect record of 6-0 on the season. Maldonado also scored one run in the contest, his first of the series.
LSU picked up three runs in the bottom of the first inning, collecting two hits off junior starter Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y), going up 3-0 early. Holy Cross answered with two runs in the top of the second inning, as junior Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) homered to left field, scoring sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) who reached base on a Tiger fielding error. Croglio lost some of his control in the bottom of the third inning after facing just three batters in the second. LSU scored seven runs on four hits in the inning, including a two-run single, two-run home run and one double. With the seven run third inning, the Crusaders found themselves down, 10-2.
The Tigers got to Croglio for one more run in the bottom of the fourth, advancing to an 11-2 lead. Sophomore Chris Kono (Greenwich, Conn.) replaced Croglio in the fifth inning as Holy Cross' offense went silent, tallying just one hit in the top half of the fourth, fifth and six innings. Kono did not allow any Tigers to cross home plate in his first inning of action, but LSU tacked on three runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth, going ahead 14-2.
Senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) then broke through for his first hit of the series in the top of the eighth inning, doubling down the left line to score Maldonado, who reached base on his third single of the contest. The Crusaders left two stranded in the inning, however, as sophomore Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) drew a walk to put runners at the corners. Maldonado's run scored was the last run of the game, as LSU tacked on one last hit in the bottom of the eighth, finishing ahead of Holy Cross by the final 14-3 score.
Croglio suffered the loss in the affair, going to 0-1 on the young season. He pitched four innings, letting up 11 runs (three earned) on seven hits while fanning two Tigers. LSU starter, freshman Kevin McCune, tallied the winning decision, improving to 2-0 on the season. McCune pitched six solid innings, allowing one run on four hits. In all, Holy Cross scored three runs on six hits and making three errors while the Tigers collected 14 runs on 13 hits, committing one error.
Holy Cross wraps up the three-game series against LSU on Sunday, February 26. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. EST at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.