WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore John Colella (Herndon, Va.) earned a winning decision and a save as the Holy Cross baseball team took two wins against Lehigh by the exact same scores of 4-3 at Fitton Field in Patriot League action. With the day's results, the Crusaders combine for a record of 23-22-1 (8-10 PL) while the Mountain Hawks move to 23-20 (7-11 PL). Colella boasted a 0.00 ERA on the day allowing one hit in four innings pitched.
Junior starter John Pedrotty (Portsmouth, R.I.) struck out five Mountain Hawks over the first three innings of play as the two teams found themselves in a scoreless battle through the first three innings. Lehigh then struck first in the top of the fifth, scoring once on two hits to go up 1-0. Sophomore Josh Olson (Woodbury, Minn.) broke up Mountain Hawk starting pitcher Mike Lebo's no hit bid in the bottom of the inning with a single, but the Crusaders left two stranded in the inning to remain down by one run.
Pedrotty returned to form in the sixth and seventh, getting the Mountain Hawks to go down in order as sophomore Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) then came up big in the bottom of seventh, hitting a double to left field to tie the score at 1-1, sending senior Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.) home after he singled in the first at-bat of the inning. Two Lehigh runs came across in the first half of the eighth inning, capitalizing on a wild pitch and defensive miscue at home plate. With the runs, the Mountains Hawks took a 3-1 lead. Holy Cross came back within one run on an error in the bottom of the eighth and then put runners on first and second for senior Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.) who nailed a two-run double to the left side to notch the game winning hit as Holy Cross won out, 4-3.
Collela, who replaced Pedrotty in the eighth picks up the winning decision to improve to 3-2 on the season. He allowed no hits and walked two in his one inning outing. Lehigh's reliever, Cory Kent, took the loss, dropping to 5-2 on the season. He allowed three runs on one hit, including the game winning hit by Oxford. In all, Holy Cross scored four runs on five hits, making two errors while the Mountain Hawks scored three runs on seven hits, committing three errors.
Lehigh took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, scoring on a RBI single. The Mountain Hawks earned another run in the top of fourth, scoring on another RBI single to go up 2-0 as Holy Cross left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth after getting two hits. Lehigh added another run in the top of the fifth before Holy Cross came back within one run in the bottom half of the inning as freshman Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) led off with a triple and then scored on a RBI groundout by fellow freshman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.). Senior Brendan McCrea (Hicksville, N.Y.) followed with his third home run of the season, a solo shot to left center to bring the score to 3-2.
The Crusaders then took the lead in the bottom of the sixth as sophomore Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) knocked out his first career home run to tie the score, followed by a RBI single by Barry, scoring sophomore Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) who singled in the inning as well. Colella would take over on the mound for Holy Cross in the seventh inning, allowing just one Lehigh hit and no runs scored, keeping hold of the team's one run lead. He struck out two batters in the ninth to shut down the Mountain Hawks completely, boosting the Crusaders to the 4-3 win.
Sophomore Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) earned the winning decision as he came in to replace junior starter Nate Koneski (North Dighton, Mass.) with two outs in the fifth. He moves to 3-0 on the season after allowing three walks and striking out to in a 1.2 inning outing. Lehigh's starter, Nick Cassell gets charged with the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the season. He allowed three runs on five hits and struck out four In all, Holy Cross scored four runs on nine hits while the Mountain Hawks scored three runs on 10 hits, committing three errors.
The Crusaders complete the regular season with a final league doubleheader against Lehigh tomorrow, May 1. The first contest begins at 12:00 p.m. at Fitton Field. The team's four seniors will be honored as well.