WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team could not find the offensive spark they were looking against Navy, falling by scores of 11-2 and 5-2 in the doubleheader finale at Fitton Field. With the day's results, the Crusaders drop to a record of 19-22-1 (6-10 PL) while the Midshipmen move to 26-17-1 (10-6 PL). Senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) put together a team-high three runs and two RBI to highlight the day's offense.
The Crusaders took advantage of two Navy fielding errors, scoring twice in the bottom of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Seniors Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) and Oxford tallied RBI singles in the inning as Ciardiello and senior Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.) scored the runs. Navy's Dave Milanes then homered in the top of the second to make it a one-run game, 2-1 while the Mids followed with two runs on four hits in the top of third inning, going ahead 3-2.
Navy extended its lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth, scoring three times on four hits including a two-run single from Milanes. Mids starter Sam Long would shut down the Crusaders' bats in the second through sixth innings, facing just 14 batters. Navy put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs, including a three-run home run by sophomore Chris Campbell and going up 11-2. The Crusaders flew out in three straight at-bats in the seventh to fall by the final 11-2 score.
Koneski picks up his sixth loss of the season, dropping to 2-6 after pitching five innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and striking out seven. Long pitched the seven-inning complete game, allowing two runs on five hits and struck out four. In all, Holy Cross scored two runs on five hits, making one error while the Midshipmen scored 11 runs on 13 hits, committing two errors.
Navy got to junior starter Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y.) with a three-run home run in the top of the first to go up 3-0 early. The Mids then scored on a bases loaded walk in the top of the fourth to take a 4-0 lead as Holy Cross put together just one hit through the first three innings. Oxford gave the Crusaders their first run with a RBI single in the fourth, scoring sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.).
Freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) hit a sacrifice fly to put another run for Holy Cross on the board in the bottom of the fifth, scoring sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) who led the inning off with a single. Navy took back a three-run lead in the sixth, scoring once on fielder's choice play. The Crusaders were able to tally one last hit in the game, a single by Puentes, but could not score another run, falling by the 5-2 final. Sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.) finished out the pitching effort for Holy Cross, allowing no hits and striking out three in 3.1 innings of work.
Croglio drops to 2-4 on the season after tallying the losing decision. He pitched five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits while striking out one. Navy reliever Wes Olson earned the win to move to 4-1 on the season. He pitched 4.1 innings, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out one batter. In all, Holy Cross scored two runs on eight hits, committing two errors while the Midshipmen scored five runs on six hits.
The Crusaders jump right back into action on Tuesday, April 26 when the host Ivy-League opponent Yale. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.