BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Five members of the Holy Cross baseball team notched RBI versus Gardner Webb, but the Bulldogs outscored the squad 8-1 in the final three innings, dropping the Crusaders by a final 14-7 score at John H. Moss Stadium. With the decision, the Crusaders move to a record of 2-5 while the Bulldogs go to 8-3 on the season. Senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) led the offense with a two-for-five plate appearance, scoring three runs and registering one RBI.
The Crusaders got off to a hot start, scoring three times in the top of the first inning. After senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) started things off with a double, Oxford singled and advanced on an error that also allowed Laurendeau to score. Senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) went deep for the first time this season in the next at-bat, driving home two runs to make it a 3-0 game. The Bulldogs came back with six unanswered runs, however, including a four run third inning to take a 6-3 lead at the end of three innings played.
Holy Cross tied the score,6-6, over the next two innings as freshman Ryan Doerhoff (Flower Mound, Texas) broke through for his first career RBI in the top of the fourth, doubling down the right field line to score sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.). Oxford brought the score to 6-5, doubling through center field to bring around Laurendeau. Freshman Kyle Stearns (Orland Park, Ill.) singled to score Oxford one out and two batters later, tying the ball game.
Sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.), who came in to replace starting sophomore Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) in the top of the third, shut down the Bulldogs' offense for two innings before getting hit with a three-run sixth inning as Gardner Webb went ahead 9-6. Sophomore Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) made it a 9-7 game in the top of the seventh, scoring Oxford on a single. Gardner Webb put the game away, however, scoring two runs in the seventh and three runs in the eighth to take a 14-7 lead. The Crusaders could not find a way to score in the top of the ninth, ending the game with a 14-7 loss.
Colella took the loss, going to 0-1 on the season after pitching three innings, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out two. Gardner Webb's Brandon Boling tallied the win, going to 1-0 on the season after pitching one inning and not allowing one hit. In all, Holy Cross scored seven runs on nine hits and making one error while the Bulldogs tallied 14 runs on 18 hits, committing two errors.
Holy Cross wraps up the two-game series with Gardner Webb tomorrow, March 9. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. at John H. Moss Stadium.