BLACKSBURG, Va. – Holy Cross junior Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) batted .400 on the day with four hits, three runs and three RBIs and also picked up the victory on the mound in game two as the Crusaders split the day's doubleheader with Temple at English Field. Holy Cross lost game one, 13-12 and then won its first contest of the season in game two with an 8-6 triumph. With the decisions, Holy Cross moves to 1-3 on the season, while the Owls go to 2-3 on the year. Holy Cross senior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also had four hits on the afternoon with a trio of runs scored and a pair of RBIs.
In the first game, Temple went ahead 1-0 after the first inning, but that would be short lived as the Crusaders scored a pair of runs in the top of the second. Senior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) scored the first run of the inning and sophomore Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) drove home classmate Jack St. Clair (Newton, Mass) on an RBI-double to put HC on top 2-1. The Owls offense ignited over the next few innings as they would go ahead 9-2 after six frames of play.
Holy Cross was able to get back into the game in the seventh inning. Ocello led off the frame with a triple and came home on a Maldonado single in the next at bat. Two batters later, Ahmed drove home Maldonado on an RBI base hit to make the score 9-4. The Crusaders would load the bases up and score two runs ona pair of walks after that to cut the deficit to 9-6. The Crusaders then struck for three runs in the eighth inning as freshman Nick Lovullo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Ahmed and St. Clair all had RBIs to knot the score at 9-9. Holy Cross gained the lead in the top half of the ninth inning with a trio of runs. Lovullo scored on a walk, as freshman catcher Connor Perry (Haverhill, Mass.) drove home a pair on a single, which gave the Crusaders the 12-9 lead. Temple, however, rallied in the bottom of the frame as it scored four runs to walk-off with the 13-12 victory over Holy Cross.
Holy Cross senior pitcher John Colella (Herndon, Va.) was charged with the loss (0-1) as he allowed four runs (two earned) over 1.1 innings pitched. Freshman Colin Brown (Sonoma, Calif.) started the game for the Crusaders as he went 3.1 innings with four earned runs on three hits to go along with three strikeouts. Temple pitcher Ryan Kuehn (1-0) picked up the win as he pitched one inning of relief with one hit.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Holy Cross struck first as Wadsworth hit a RBI-triple in the bottom of the second to score junior Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass). Temple rallied for two runs in the top of the third inning, but the Crusaders knotted the score in the bottom half of the frame on an RBI-double by Ahmed.
During the bottom of the fourth, Holy Cross scored three runs to make the score 5-2. Ocello scored the first run of the inning on a Lovullo single as Cipolla drove home a pair on a double. The Crusaders put up another crooked number in the bottom of the fifth inning. With runners on second and third, Maldonado grounded out to third base, but scored junior Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.). During the next at-bat, Lovullo hit an RBI-double to score Ocello and make the score 7-2. Temple scored a run in the top of the seventh, but the Crusaders responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the eight to keep the five-run lead (8-3).
In the top of the ninth, the Crusaders almost let Temple back into the contest. The Owls rattled off three quick runs, but senior relief pitcher Conor Moynihan (Worcester, Mass.) closed the door with a bases-loaded, one-out save to give the Crusaders their first win of the season.
Ahmed (1-0) pitched five innings for Holy Cross as he allowed two earned runs on five hits. He had five strikeouts and only walked one batter. Holy Cross senior Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) and sophomore Jeremy Perron (Bradenton, Fla.) combined to pitch 2.2 innings of relief for the Crusaders with one earned run on two hits. Temple starter Patrick Peterson was charged with the loss (0-1) as he was chased after four innings for allowing five runs on seven hits.