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WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) scored three runs before coming into pitch, collecting three strikeouts and the save as the Holy Cross baseball team topped Marist, 11-7, at Fitton Field. With the decision, the squad moves to 16-11, winning five straight games while the Red Foxes go to 7-19. The Crusaders collected 11 hits on the night as sophomore Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) boosted the offense with two hits, one RBI and one run scored.
The Red Foxes jumped out to an early 3-0 lead tagging freshman starter Ryan Filipowicz (Yardley, Pa.) for three runs on three hits. The Crusaders tallied two runs on three hits of their own in the bottom half of the first as Ahmed and junior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led off with back-to-back singles. Ahmed then scored on a RBI single from fellow junior Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) before Maldonado rounded the bases on a fielder's choice. Marist tallied one run in the top of the second to pull back out to a 4-2 edge, scoring on a RBI single. Holy Cross continued to answer back, pulling within one run, 4-3, in the bottom of the third as Maldonado scored his second run of the night on an error by the Marist catcher after singling in the first at-bat of the inning.
Freshman Collin Manning (Charlotte, N.C.) relieved Filipowicz in the top of the fourth inning with two runners on and one out. Marist scored one run to take a 5-3 lead before Manning struck out the final batter to end the inning. Holy Cross then combined for five unanswered runs to move ahead 8-5, scoring once in the bottom of the fifth and four times in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) doubled and then scored in the fifth as the Crusaders scored four runs on just one RBI hit from Cipolla in the sixth.
Manning pitched two shut out innings before the Red Foxes picked up two more runs in the top of the seventh, moving the score to 8-7 after scoring on a RBI single and groundout. Junior John Colella (Herndon, Va.) replaced Manning in the inning with two outs and got out of a bases loaded jam. Junior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) came up big for the Crusaders in a pinch hitting role in the bottom of the seventh, collecting a two-run single that scored Maldonado and Ahmed as the squad regained a 10-7 lead. Holy Cross scored one last time in the bottom of the eighth as Cipolla notched his run on a wild pitch, notching the score at 11-7. Ahmed came into pitch with two outs in the top of the eighth, striking out the final batter with the bases loaded. Ahmed returned to pitch the ninth and tallied two strikeouts, keeping the Red Foxes from scoring as Holy Cross finished ahead by the 11-7 final.
Manning earned his first collegiate win in the outing, going to 1-0 overall. He allowed two runs on one hit and struck out three batters in 3.1 innings of work. Ahmed collects the save, his second on the season. He pitched 1.1 hitless innings and struck out three. Marist's reliever, Sam Berry, took home the loss, dropping to 0-1 overall. He allowed one earned run on three hits and walked three in 0.2 innings of work. In all, Holy Cross scored 11 runs on 11 hits, committing one error while the Red Foxes scored seven runs on nine hits, committing four errors.
The Crusaders continue their home stand this weekend, hosting Patriot League foe Lafayette for a four game series starting Saturday, April 7. First pitch of Saturday's doubleheader is set for 2:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.