RICHMOND, Va. – Despite combining for 14 hits, the Holy Cross baseball team could muster just three runs scored against Virginia Commonwealth, dropping a 10-3 decision in the first day of action at the Terry Sisisky Classic on the Diamond. With the result, the Crusaders combine for a record of 2-7 while the Rams move to 5-7 on the season. Senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) tallied one RBI in the game while going three-for-five at the plate and scoring one run.
The Crusaders collected two hits per inning but no runs scored from the first through fifth, including two hits from senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.). Sophomore starter Chris Kono (Greenwich, Conn.) allowed just three VCU hits through his first four innings of work as well. The Rams broke the pitcher's duel in the bottom of the fifth, scoring on a double and going up 1-0.
The Crusaders tied the score, 1-1, in the top of the sixth as Oxford started off with a single up the middle, then stole second to get into scoring position. After junior Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) drew a walk, sophomore Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) singled, bringing around Oxford to make it a tie ball game. Virginia Commonwealth answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to make it a 4-1 game as sophomore Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) replaced Kono. The Rams then added three runs in the seventh, going ahead 7-1 after tagging Marra for four hits and making three of them count.
Holy Cross scored once in the eighth inning as sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) doubled to send Ciardiello home, bringing the score to 7-2. The Rams attacked the Holy Cross pitching staff for three more runs in the bottom half, however, taking back a 10-2 edge heading into the ninth. The Crusaders made one last attempt in the top of the ninth, scoring one final run as freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.), who started the inning off with a single, scored on double by Ciardiello. The run came with two outs as the Crusaders finished out the contest with a fly out and losing by the final 10-3 score.
After pitching five innings and allowing three runs on three hits, Kono picked up the loss to drop to 0-1 on the season. VCU's Seth Cutler-Voltz tallied the win, improving to 1-1 on the season. He pitched six innings, allowing one lone run to score on 10 hits and struck out three. In all, Holy Cross scored three runs on 14 hits while the Rams scored 10 runs on 17 hits.
Holy Cross plays in a doubleheader tomorrow, March 12, in the second day of action at the Terry Sisisky Classic. The Crusaders take on Princeton at 12 p.m. and follow with a 4 p.m. start against Virginia Commonwealth. All games will be played on The Diamond in Richmond, Va.