Crusaders Shut Down Harvard, 11-6

Mike Ahmed

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team's relief pitching staff shut down Harvard for six innings, allowing just one hit to boost the Crusaders to a 11-6 win at O'Donnell Field in non-conference action. With the final tally, the Crusaders combine for a record of 12-10-1 while the Crimson move to 3-16 on the season. Sophomore Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.) pitched 4.1 shut out innings, allowing two hits and struck out three in his first winning decision of the season.

Senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) hit a two-run home run in the third at-bat of the game, scoring fellow senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) who singled in the previous at-bat to give Holy Cross an early 2-0 lead. Harvard answered with three runs on four hits off sophomore starter Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) in the bottom of the first to take 3-2 edge. Senior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) doubled and then tied the game 3-3 on a throwing error by the Crimson's third baseman in the top of the second. Harvard took back a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second and then pulled out to a 6-3 lead in the third, collecting the two additional runs on three hits.

The Crusaders would follow with two four-run innings in the top of the fourth and fifth to take an 11-6 lead as Boyce shut down the Crimson from the fourth through sixth innings. Laurendeau knocked in two runs in the top of fourth, connecting on a single, while Ciardiello added a RBI single in the inning. The Crimson also walked sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brookyln, N.Y.) with the bases loaded, allowing freshman Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) to score. Ahmed connected for his first career triple in the top of the fifth, scoring sophomore Josh Olson (Woodbury, Minn.) while Laurendeau added a two-run double. Senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) also broke though for his first hit in the inning, singling to score Maldonado, who singled for the inning's fourth hit as well.

McCrea replaced Boyce on the mound in the eighth as Harvard went three up three down against him. Sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.) finished out the affair, striking out two Crimson and getting the final batter to fly out as Holy Cross won out by the final 11-6 score.  

Boyce earned his first win of the year after his 4.1 inning outing while Harvard freshman Peter Kaplan loses the decision, dropping to 0-1 on the spring. He gave up the go-ahead run in the fouirth. In all, the Crusaders scored 11 runs on 12 hits and made two errors. The Crimson scored six runs on eight hits and also made two errors. Laurendeau and Ciardiello led the team offensively, bringing home three runs apiece. Laurendeau went three-for-six at the plate while Ciardiello extends his hit-streak to 19 games with a two-for-three plate appearance, including two walks.

Holy Cross opens up Patriot League play next, traveling to West Point, N.Y. to compete against Army in a weekend doubleheader. The first doubleheader begins on Saturday, April 2 at 12:00 p.m. All games will be played on Doubleday Field.