BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Junior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) put together a team-best three hits in the leadoff spot as the Holy Cross baseball team dropped a 9-4 decision in the second game of action at the Campbell Invitational Tournament at Taylor Field. With the decision, the squad moves to 2-3 on the season while the Camels go to 8-3. Maldonado went 3-for-5 on the day, scoring two runs.
Holy Cross scored once in the top of the first inning as junior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) collected a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded, scoring Maldonado who led off the game with a single up the middle. Campbell evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning, scoring on a RBI single. The Crusader put together three more runs in the top of the second, with sophomore Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) drawing a bases loaded walk and junior Josh Olson (Woodbury, Minn.) connecting on a two-run double, scoring Maldonado and sophomore Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.). The Camels had an answer once again the bottom of the second, scoring three runs on two hits to make it a 4-4 tie.
Both teams went scoreless through the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Senior starter Nate Koneski (North Dighton, Mass.) struck out four Camels from the third through fifth innings and was replaced by sophomore Nate Walker (San Diego, Calif.) in the top of the sixth with the score still tied. Walker struck out two batters in the sixth to keep it a tie game before giving up a bases loaded in the seventh. The Camels combined for three runs in the inning, taking a 7-4 lead. Down 7-4 in the eighth inning, the Crusaders could not find the offense they needed, singling but not scoring. Campbell put together two more runs on two hits in the bottom of the eighth to complete the win. Ahmed collected his second hit on the day in the ninth, but Holy Cross remained scoreless, falling by the final 9-4 score.
Walker picked up the loss in the affair, dropping to 0-2 on the season. He worked one inning from the mound, giving up three runs (one earned) on two hits. Campbell's reliever, Logan Self, tallied the win, improving to 2-1 on the season. He shut out the Crusaders in four innings pitched, giving up three hits. In all, Holy Cross scored four runs on seven hits, committing two errors while the Camels notched nine runs on eight hits.
Holy Cross completes action at the Campbell Invitational Tournament tomorrow, March 5. The Crusaders will face the Camels for the final game starting at 4:00 p.m. on Taylor Field.