EASTON, Pa. – Sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) led the team with four hits that scored five runs as the Holy Cross baseball team split the final doubleheader against Lafayette, losing 2-1 and winning 14-10 at Kamine Stadium. With the day's results, the Crusaders collect a record of 17-19-1 (5-7 PL) while the Leopards move to 13-20 (7-5 PL) on the season. Puentes combined for two doubles and one home run on the day ans also scored two runs.
The Lafayette and Holy Cross pitching staffs had their day, allowing a total of three runs to score in the first game, with the Leopards winning on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to earn the 2-1 win. Puentes gave the Crusaders their first run, scoring freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) who tallied the first hit of the inning. Lafayette tied the score, 1-1, in the bottom of the sixth, getting to junior Nate Koneski (North Dighton, Mass.) for the first time in the game, tagging him with an RBI single.
With a man on second in the bottom of the seventh, sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.) replaced Koneski on the mound and allowed two singles through, including the go ahead run to end the game.
Despite the two singles let up by Colella, Koneski picked up the loss because it was his runner that scored and drops to 2-5 on the season. He pitched 6.1 innings, striking out eight batters and allowing two runs on four hits. Lafayette's reliever, Jeff Snell, collected his first winning decision of the season to go to 1-0 overall. He pitched the seventh inning and faced four batters, allowing no runs or hits. In all, Holy Cross scored one run on six hits while the Leopards scored two runs on six hits. Freshman Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) had a team-high two hits in the game.
Holy Cross found the offense it was looking for in the second game, combining for eight runs through the second and third innings after Lafayette had taken an early 2-0 lead. Senior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) and Puentes collected RBI singles in the second inning while sophomore Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) came up big with a two-run double to make it a 4-2 game. Puentes continued his hot streak at the plate in the third inning, knocking out a three-run homer after senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) notched a RBI single to send home the first run.
Lafayette put another run across in the bottom of the third with a home run off sophomore reliever Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) to make it an 8-3 game, but Wadsworth sent out his second home run of the series in the top of the fourth, putting the Crusaders up 9-3. Senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) brought the score to 11-3 in the fifth, going yard for the team's third home run of the day, sending around Puentes who doubled in the inning as well. After the Crusaders went up, 12-3, in the top of the sixth, Lafayette began to make a comeback, scoring six times in the bottom of the sixth to pull within three runs, 12-9.
Holy Cross then put the game back out of reach for good in the top of the eighth, scoring twice on two sac bunt plays. Lafayette got the last run in the bottom of the eighth, but got no further, as Holy Cross won by the final 14-10 score. Colella finished out the last four innings for the Crusaders, earning his sixth save of the season and striking out a season-high six batters in the effort.
Hauser took home the win, improving to an unblemished 2-0 on the season. He lasted four innings, allowing two runs on four hits and struck out one. Lafayette's starter, Connor Ortolf, picked up the loss, dropping to 2-2 on the season. He pitched 2.1 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. In all, Holy Cross scored 14 runs on 20 hits, committing one error while the Leopards score 10 runs on 11 hits, making two errors.
The Crusaders begin an 11-game home-stand starting with a doubleheader against Brown on Wednesday, April 20. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.