WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.) struck out a season-high seven batters, pitching five strong innings to lead the Holy Cross baseball team to a 15-10 victory over Albany in opening day at Fitton Field. With the result, the Crusaders improve to a record of 6-7 while the Great Danes combine for a record of 4-9 on the season. Freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) and senior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) combined for six RBI on the day offensively, bringing home three runs apiece.
Senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) led the Crusaders off with a triple and then scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first, giving Holy Cross an early 1-0 lead. Senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) picked up the RBI, scoring Laurendeau on a RBI groundout. Holy Cross added on two runs in the bottom of the second to pull ahead 3-0 as junior Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) led off with a single, stole second and then scored on a single down the left field line by senior McCrea. McCrea then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing by the Albany catcher, allowing sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.), who walked, to score the second run. Albany got to Pedrotty for two runs in the top of the third, knocking out a two run home run to get within one run, 3-2.
Albany tied the score, 3-3, in the top of the fourth as Pedrotty walked a batter in. The Crusaders answered with one run in the bottom half of the inning to take back a 4-3 lead with freshman Barry connecting for a RBI single, scoring Tkowski. After Albany regained a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth, Holy Cross put together a seven-run response, going ahead 11-5. Barry collected two RBI in the inning on a single while Laurendeau, McCrea and sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also collected RBI hits. Sophomore Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) came in to pitch for Pedrotty in the sixth inning, allowing one run to score as the Great Danes made it an 11-6 game.
After a scoreless bottom of the sixth, the Great Danes tacked on four runs off Hauser and sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.) in the top of the seventh to get within one run, 11-10. McCrea then knocked in his third run of the game in the bottom of the seventh, giving back the Crusaders a two-run cushion, 12-10 and scoring freshman Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.). Holy Cross opened the game back up in the bottom of the eight, scoring three final runs. Senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) led off with a single and then scored on a wild pitch. Three batters later, pinch hitter Kyle Stearns (Orland Park, Ill.) doubled down the left field line to score Ahmed and pinch runner Josh Olson (Woodbury, Minn.). With the double, the Crusaders took a 15-10 lead. Colella retired the final six Albany batters, including four strikeouts, keeping his team's five-run lead safe and picking up his second save of the season.
Pedrotty tallied his third win of the season to improve to 3-1. He pitched five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits while striking out the seven Great Danes. Albany starter Dave Kubiak gets tabbed with the loss, dipping to 1-2 on the year. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing nine runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out nine of the 26 Crusaders her faced. In all, Holy Cross scored 15 runs on 15 hits and made one error while the Great Danes scored 10 runs on 16 hits, making four errors. Laurendeau, Ciardiello, Tkowski and Ahmed all had two-hit games as well.
Holy Cross matches up with Albany again for the second game of the weekend series, hosting the Great Danes tomorrow, March 19, at 4:00 p.m. Albany will first play St. John's at 12:00 p.m. and then replay the Crusaders in the afternoon. All games will be held on Fitton Field.