WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) came one home run short of hitting for the cycle as the Holy Cross baseball team won out, 10-7, against Brown at Fitton Field. With the final tally, the Crusaders combine for a record of 18-19-1 while the Bears move to 8-22 on the season. Ahmed went three-for-six at the plate on the day, scoring three runs and picking up one RBI.
Brown held a 2-1 edge after the first three innings of play, scoring on a single in the second inning and an error in the third inning. Holy Cross got its first run in the bottom of the second as freshman Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) picked up a RBI groundout that scored sophomore Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) who singled to lead off the inning.
Holy Cross took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth, earning back to back Ahmed and sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) as Ahmed scored Maldonado for the first run. Senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) then singled to score Ahmed for the second run. Brown regained a 5-3 lead, scoring twice in the top of the fourth and once in the fifth before Holy Cross scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to go up 6-5. Ahmed tripled and then scored the first run on a Wadsworth sacrifice fly while junior Chris Sintetos (Bethesda, Md.) earned a RBI hit-by-pitch. Cipolla rounded out the scoring in the inning on another sacrifice fly, scoring Ciardiello.
The Crusaders seemed to break the game open in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four more runs, including a two-run single by Wadsworth and a two-run triple by Sintetos, his first of the season. Brown would not score again until the top of the ninth as sophomore relievers Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.) and Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) allowed just one run to score in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Bears then loaded the bases in the ninth and scored two runs before sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.) came in to keep the rest of the runners at bay, getting his first batter to hit into a fielder's choice and then striking out the last batter in the game to preserve the team's lead. With the Colella strikeout and save, Holy Cross finished ahead, 10-7.
Boyce, who came in to pitch 2.1 innings, earned the winning decision to move to 2-1 on the season. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out two. Colella tallied his seventh save of the season, breaking the Holy Cross single season record. Brown's Nate Kukowski earned his first decision of the season, falling to 0-1 after pitching 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and walking three batters. In all, Holy Cross scored 10 runs on 13 hits and made five errors while the Bears scored seven runs on eight hits, committing three errors.
The Crusaders jump back into Patriot League action next, hosting Navy for a four-game set starting Saturday, April 23. The first doubleheader will begin at 1:00 p.m. at Fitton Field and serves as the team's Big Brothers, Big Sisters Game.