Baseball Splits In Doubleheader Action Against Columbia

Nick Ciardiello

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Holy Cross baseball team won the seven-inning game, 4-3 and then lost 11-1 in the nine inning game against host Columbia at Robertson Field in non-conference weekend action. With the results, the Crusaders combine for a record of 9-9-1 while the Lions go to 8-7 on the season. Senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) went four-for-six on the day to lead the team offensively, doubling once and bringing one run home. He extends his hit streak to 15 games as well.

Game One

Columbia went ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning, scoring on a RBI groundout, an error and a RBI single. The squad tagged junior starter John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.) with two hits as well as two runs were unearned. The Crusaders made it a 3-2 game in the top of the third, capitalizing on three Columbia errors. Sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored the first run after reaching first base on an error and then stole second and advanced to third on the Columbia catcher's error. Senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) then scored Maldonado on a single to the third baseman and then advanced to second on an error from the throw. The next two hitters, Ciardiello and senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) collected back-to-back singles as Oxford's single sent Laurendeau home for the second run. The Crusaders would load the bases again, but came up empty to keep the score at 3-2.

In the fourth at-bat, sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) knotted the game, 3-3, in the top of the fifth, scoring Ciardiello on a single to left field. Oxford collected his second hit of the day as well after Ciardiello was hit by a pitch, advancing him to scoring position on a single. Ciardiello then put the Crusaders ahead, 4-3, one inning later, singling to the left side to score senior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) who singled with one out and advanced to second on a bunt single by Maldonado. Pedrotty did not allow one Columbia hit from the third through sixth inning as Holy Cross held on to a 4-3 lead heading in to the seventh inning.

Holy Cross put together one last hit from Oxford in the top of the seventh but did not score a run as Pedrotty got the Lions to go three up, three down in the bottom of the inning to preserve the squad's final 4-3 win in game one.

Pedrotty improves to 4-1 on the season after pitching the complete seven-inning game. He allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out five. Columbia's Pat Lowery picked up the loss, falling to 0-3 on the spring. He allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits while striking out five. In all, Holy Cross scored four runs on 11 hits, making one error while the Lions scored three runs on four hits, committing four errors. Ciardiello and Oxford combined for six of the Crusaders' 11 hits as Ciardiello went a perfect three-for-three at the plate.

Game Two

Columbia put together one run in the bottom of the first and again in the bottom of the third to take an early 2-0 lead. After Holy Cross mustered just two hits through the top of the fifth, the Lions broke out for four unearned runs to jump to a six-run lead in the bottom half of the inning after collecting four hits and chasing junior starter Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y.) from the game. Reliever McCrea walked a runner in next as Columbia ended the inning up 6-0.

Four more runs came across for Columbia in the bottom of the sixth as McCrea was hit for two more runs before being replaced by freshman Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) who struck out three but let up a two-run single, giving Columbia a 10-0 lead. Holy Cross notched one hit in the seventh before Columbia made it an 11-0 game in the bottom half. Sophomore Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) knocked in the squad's lone run in the top of the ninth, collecting his first RBI of the season on a groundout play, scoring fellow sophomore Josh Olson (Woodbury, Minn.), who led off with a single. Holy Cross was unable to convert any more hits into runs and fell by the final 11-1 tally.

Croglio picked up the loss, going to 2-2 on the season. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits and striking out two. Columbia's starter, Geoff Witaker, went seven innings strong in his win. He improves to 2-2 on the season after allowing no runs on three hits and striking out six. In all, the Crusaders scored one run on five hits, committing three errors. The Lions combined for 11 runs on 18 hits and were flawless defensively. Sophomore Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) collected two of the five Holy Cross hits to lead the team at the plate as well.

Holy Cross plays in another doubleheader, tomorrow, March 27 against Columbia on Robertson Field. The first game is set to begin at 12:00 p.m.