Baseball Drops Final Game At Nevada, 7-6

Andrew Barry

RENO, Nev.  – Holy Cross junior Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) and Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) each went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI as the Crusaders lost to Nevada, 7-6, in the bottom of the ninth inning at Peccole Park on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, Holy Cross slips to 1-6 on the season after dropping all three games to the Wolfpack this weekend, as Nevada improves to 8-4 overall.

The Crusaders got things started in the top of the first as senior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.)  led off the inning with a double. Two batters later, Cipolla hit into a groundout, but Maldonado crossed home to give the Holy Cross the early 1-0 lead.

Nevada's offense, however, went on a tear in the bottom of the frame and struck for five runs to grab the 5-1 advantage. Nevada's Brett Jones emptied the bases on a three-RBI double to get things going as the first five batters reached base to begin the inning.

After a pair of scoreless frames by both teams, Holy Cross was able to put a crooked number on the board in the top of the fourth inning. Freshman Nick Lovullo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) walked to begin the inning and moved to second on a ground out during the next at-bat. First-year catcher Connor Perry (Haverhill, Mass.) then ripped a single to right field to plate Lovullo and cut the deficit to 5-2. Perry advanced to second on a throwing error by the right fielder. On the ensuring at-bat, Barry was able to plate Perry on a single to left field, which made the score 5-3.

The Wolfpack scored one run in the bottom half of the fifth inning on a Brooks Klein homer to go ahead 6-3. Holy Cross bounced back in the top of the sixth as Maldonado hit a two-RBI triple to left center to score both Barry and sophomore Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) and cut the deficit to one run (6-5).

The Crusaders tied the score at 6-6 in the seventh inning as Cipolla scored from third on a fielder's choice by Lovullo, after he led off the frame with a single to right field.

Holy Cross could not get a base runner over the next two innings, as Nevada was able to score a run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI-single by Austin Byler to win the contest 7-6.

Sophomore pitcher Conor Moynihan (Worcester, Mass.) was charged with the loss for Holy Cross as he pitched three innings of relief. He allowed one earned run on one hit, while he fanned three and walked a pair. His two walks proved pivotal, as they came during the first two-at-bats of the ninth inning. Holy Cross sophomore Jeremy Perron (Bradenton, Fla.) went four innings out of the bullpen, as he allowed one run and two hits, while he struck out three. Michael Fain of Nevada was credited with the win.

Holy Cross held the 11 to 8 advantage in the hitting department, as both teams left eight runners on base during the contest. Nevada also made two errors in the game. Maldonado went 2-for-5 in the contest with one run and a pair of RBIs.

The Crusaders will remain on the west coast for their spring break as their next game will be on Tuesday, March 5, when they take on Cal Poly at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.