QUEENS, N.Y. – Sophomore Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) tallied his first career save as the Holy Cross baseball team hung on for a 4-3 win over Albany in the final game of the Red Storm Tournament at Kaiser Stadium. With the decision, the squad moves to 7-7 on the season while the Great Danes go to 4-12. The win marks head coach Greg DiCenzo's 100th career victory at the helm of the program.
Junior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) started the game with a single as Holy Cross loaded the bases in the first inning, earning the game's first run on a sacrifice fly by junior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.), putting the Crusaders up 1-0 early. Junior starter Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) pitched well from the mound, keeping the Great Danes scoreless through the first four innings, allowing just two hits. Junior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) boosted the Crusaders to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth with a RBI single, sending home senior Steve Tkowski (Bourne, Mass.) who doubled for the second time this season in his at-bat.
The Crusaders added one run in the sixth and again in the seventh as Marra continued to pitch a scoreless affair. It was Enos once again who sent the runner home in the bottom of the sixth, collecting his second RBI on the day with a single. Wadsworth scored on the play as he singled through the middle to reach. Junior Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) made it a 4-0 game in the seventh, picking up a RBI single and scoring Maldonado who doubled to get into scoring position.
Albany got to Marra for two runs on one hit in the top of the eighth, pulling within two runs, 4-2. After the Crusaders went down in order in the bottom of the eighth, junior John Colella (Herndon, Va.) came in to pitch the top of the ninth. He walked the first two batters and turned over the glove to Ahmed with no outs. Ahmed picked up two quick outs in the save situation, including a strike out, before allowing a RBI single. He then got the final batter to ground out as Holy Cross finished ahead of the Great Danes, 4-3.
Marra earned the winning decision on the day, improving his record to 1-1 overall. He threw eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out two. Ahmed earns his first save of the season and the first in his career. Albany's starter, Kasceim Graham, tallied the loss after pitching seven full innings. He allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out three. In all, Holy Cross scored four runs on eight hits, committing one error while Albany scored three runs on six hits.
Holy Cross continues its slate at Boston College on Tuesday, March 20. The Crusaders and in-state rival Eagles are set to start at 3:00 p.m. at Shea Field in Chestnut Hill, Mass.