WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore second baseman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) knocked in a team-high four RBI over two games as the Holy Cross baseball team split with Lafayette in two games of action at Fitton Field. Holy Cross won the first game, 4-0, and then dropped game two by a final 12-6. With the decisions, the squad moves to 17-12 (4-2 Patriot League) while the Leopards go to 9-20-1 (3-3 PL). Junior Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) combined for the shut out in game one, pitching just over six innings and gave up just four hits.
The starting pitchers, John Gentile of Lafayette and Marra battled for three scoreless innings in game one, allowing a total of six hits. The Crusaders broke the game open with a two-run bottom of the fourth to go up 2-0, tallying two runs on two hits. Sophomore Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) tallied his first triple of the season in the inning, scoring senior Chris Sintetos (Bethesda, Md.) for the first run. Barry then tallied his first RBI of the day on a long sacrifice fly, scoring Cipolla for the second and final run in the inning.
Marra pitched a scoreless fifth inning; giving up one hit before Holy Cross gave him two more runs of support in the bottom half of the outing. Junior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) knocked in the runs, tallying a two-run double to score sophomore Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.), who singled to lead off the inning, and junior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.). The Leopards went down in order in the sixth as Marra continued to pitch well. Junior John Colella (Herndon, Va.) replaced Marra with the bases loaded and one out in the top half of the seventh, holding all the runners and striking out the first batter he saw to preserve the team's 4-0 final tally.
Marra pitched 6.1 innings of shutout work for his third win of the season, improving to 3-2 overall. He allowed just four hits overall and struck out four batters. Gentile took the loss on the Leopards' side, falling to 0-7 overall. He pitched four full innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Colella earned his seventh save on the season in his 0.2 innings of action. In all, Holy Cross scored four runs on seven hits while the Leopards scored tallied four hits and made two errors.
Lafayette jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the top of the second, batting through the order and collecting seven hits off of senior starter Matt Croglio (Fayetteville, N.Y.). Holy Cross got two runs back in the bottom half of the second as Barry notched a RBI double, scoring Cipolla. Maldonado picked up a RBI walk with the bases loaded for the second run as Barry scored on the play. Croglio settled in over the next three innings, holding the Leopards to no runs from the third through fifth.
The Crusaders moved within two runs, 7-5, in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs on two hits. Sintetos picked up the first RBI hit, singling and scoring Enos. Barry then came up big again, notching a two-run double to score Cipolla and Sintetos. Lafayette added five more runs on four hits in the top of the sixth, pulling back out to a 12-5 lead. Freshman Donny Murray (Walpole, Mass.) came in for Croglio after he gave up a double to lead off the inning. Maldonado tallied a double in the bottom of the sixth and then scored on a RBI groundout by junior Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) to make it a 12-6 game.
Puentes' RBI was the last piece of offense for either team on the day as the Crusaders and Leopards scattered five more hits but no runs scores. Lafayette brought in senior Jeff Snell in the top of seventh, who shut down the Crusaders offense for the final innings. Maldonado tallied the final hit in the top of the ninth, but Lafayette held on to finish ahead by the 12-6 score.
Croglio picked up the losing decision, dropping to 2-3 on the season. He threw five full innings, allowing six earned runs on 11 hits while striking out three batters. Lafayette's reliever, Chris Boyce took home the win, improving to 2-0. He pitched 0.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit. Snell earned the save on the day, his fifth this season. In all, Holy Cross scored six runs on eight hits, committing two errors while the Leopards scored 12 runs on 17 hits, committing two errors.
The Crusaders wrap up the weekend series with Lafayette tomorrow, April 8. Doubleheader action begins at 1:00 p.m. at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass.