Baseball Wins Slugfest With Siena, 13-10

Patrick Puentes

WORCESTER, Mass. – Every starter in the Holy Cross baseball team's lineup notched at least one hit against Siena as the Crusaders took a 13-10 victory in the final regular-season non-conference game at Fitton Field. With the final tally, the Crusaders improve to a record of 21-22-1 while the Saints fall to 17-24 on the season. Leading the offense was a three-hit, three-RBI day by sophomore Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) and a three-hit, three-run day by fellow sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.).

After Siena knocked out a three-run home run off sophomore starter Vaughn Hayward (Glendale, R.I.) in the top of the first, Holy Cross came back to score four runs in the bottom half of the inning, taking a 4-3 lead. Puentes notched the first RBI single in the inning while senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) collected his 15th double of the season, scoring senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) and sophomore Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) who both walked. The Crusaders tacked on three runs in the top of the second, going ahead 7-3 as Puentes added a RBI double, followed by a one-run single from Wadsworth. Freshman Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) then went deep for the first time in his career in the bottom of the third, scoring sophomore Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) who led the inning off with his first career double. Puentes put together his third hit of the day in the same inning, scoring freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) for Holy Cross' 10th run of the day.

The Saints put three runs up on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth to bring the score to 10-6, chasing Hayward from the mound with two walks and two run-scoring singles in the inning. Ciardiello brought home Maldonado on his third hit of the day in the bottom of fifth, bringing the score back out to 11-6, but Siena scored three more times in the top of the sixth to make it a two-run game, 11-9. Oxford sent his fourth home run of the season out in the bottom of the sixth while Maldonado connected for his first RBI-hit on the day, giving Holy Cross two insurance runs in the inning and registering a 13-9 lead.

One last run came across in the top of the eighth by Siena as second baseman Dan Paolini knocked out his second home run of the day. Sophomore Chris Kono (Greenwich, Conn.) who came in to pitch the sixth inning on, closed out the top of the ninth with a double play ball and a fly out to register his second save of the season and keeping the Crusaders' 13-10 lead safe. With the scoreless inning, Holy Cross won by the final 13-10 score.

Sophomore Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.) who replaced Hayward for the last out in fourth, earned the winning decision to improve to 3-1 overall. He allowed two runs on two hits while fanning four. Siena's starter, Nicco Stento, took home the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the season. He allowed four runs on two hits in his 0.1 inning pitched. In all, Holy Cross scored 13 runs on 18 hits while the Saints scored 10 runs on 12 hits, committing one error.

The Crusaders will host Lehigh in the final weekend of the regular season and looks to find a spot in the Patriot League Tournament next. The Mountain Hawks visit Worcester, Mass. for a four-game series beginning Saturday, April 30 and running through Sunday, May 1. The Saturday doubleheader starts at 3:00 p.m. at Fitton Field.