WILMINGTON, N.C. – Junior south paw John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.) allowed one run in over seven innings pitched as the Holy Cross baseball beat out Big East opponent Villanova, 5-1, at neutral site Brooks Field, home of the North Carolina-Wilmington baseball team. With the decision, the Crusaders improve to a record of 1-3 while the Wildcats tally a record of 4-6 on the season.
After a scoreless first inning, Holy Cross broke into the runs column in the bottom of the second inning. With two runners on, freshman Kyle Stearns (Orland Park, Ill.) notched the team's first triple of the season, scoring junior Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) and senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.). Fellow freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) followed with a single down the left field, bringing Stearns home and giving the Crusaders a 3-0 edge. Pedrotty to shut down the Wildcats, keeping them scoreless through three innings as senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) made it a 4-0 game in the bottom of the third. With one swing of the bat, Oxford knocked out his first home run of the season, breaking the Holy Cross career RBI record.
Villanova made it a 4-1 game in the top of the fourth inning, loading the bases and scoring one run on a single to centerfield. Pedrotty got the final batter to pop out, as the Wildcats left two men on base. Holy Cross had an answer in the bottom of the fifth inning as sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) put together back-to-back singles, getting runners into scoring position. Oxford followed with a single to right field, scoring Maldonado for his second RBI in the game and boosting Holy Cross to a 5-1 lead.
Pedrotty continued to work hard from the mound, shutting down the Wildcats from the fourth inning on and allowing just one base runner on in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs and one runner on, sophomore Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) replaced Pedrotty on the mound, preserving the Crusaders' four-run lead as he got the last batter to fly out, closing out the eighth inning. Marra allowed two runners on in the top of eighth, but struck out one and got the Wildcats to pop out and fly out, protecting the Holy Cross advantage as the Crusaders won by the final 5-1 score.
Pedrotty tallied the winning decision, improving to 1-1 on the season after pitching 7.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out four. Villanova's Kyle Helisek took the loss, dropping to 0-1 on the season after allowing five runs on seven hits. In all, Holy Cross scored five runs on seven hits and making one error while the Wildcats collected one run on five hits.
Due to tomorrow's forecast of rain, Holy Cross will now play in a doubleheader on Monday, March 7 at Brooks Field, first competing against St. Joseph's at 12:00 p.m. and following with a 4:00 p.m. match-up against weekend host North-Carolina Wilmington. The originally scheduled games for Sunday, March 6 were postponed due to the inclement weather.