NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Holy Cross junior infielder Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) batted .429 (3-for-7) on the day with two runs and three RBIs, to help lead the Crusaders to a pair of wins versus Yale in non-conference baseball action on Sunday afternoon at Yale Field. Holy Cross won the first contest, 7-4, and claimed the victory in game two, 2-0.
Crusaders junior pitcher Nate Walker (San Diego, Calif.) picked up the win in the second game of the doubleheader as he pitched seven shutout innings, while only surrendering two hits. With the victories, Holy Cross improves to 6-13 on the season, while the Bulldogs slip to 1-13 overall.
In the first game of the afternoon, the visiting Crusaders struck first in the top half of the opening frame. Sophomore outfielder Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) led off the game with a double and moved over to third on the next at-bat as junior Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) reached on an error. Ahmed then reached on a fielder's choice to score Ocello, but with another error on the play by the Bulldogs, Holy Cross had runners on first and second.
Two batters later, Holy Cross senior outfielder Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) scored Barry on a groundout to make the score 2-0. The Crusaders increased the lead to 3-0 as senior first baseman Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) hit an RBI-single to right field to plate Ahmed.
Yale, however, countered with three runs in the bottom of the first as Jacob Hunter hit a two-run home run during the frame to make the score 3-3.
Holy Cross added its final runs of the contest in a four-run burst in the top of the second inning. Senior shortstop Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second two batters later on a single by Barry. Ahmed then ripped an RBI-single to left field to plate Maldonado and make the score 4-3. Holy Cross junior outfielder Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) followed that with an RBI-single of his own to score Barry and increase the margin to 5-3.
After a walk by Enos to load the bases, senior catcher Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) was hit by a pitch, which scored Ahmed. Freshman Connor Perry (Haverhill, Mass.) drew a walk during the next at-bat to score Cipolla and make the score 7-3.
Yale pushed across a run in the bottom of the third inning to cut the deficit to 7-4, however, the Crusaders pitching staff only allowed one hit over the final three frames of the seven-inning affair.
Holy Cross starting pitcher, senior Chris Kono (Greenwich, Conn.), picked up the win (1-0) as he pitched 6.1 innings and allowed four earned runs and seven hits. Senior Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.) earned his first of two saves on the afternoon with 0.2 innings pitched in relief.
Bulldogs starting pitcher Cale Hanson was charged with the loss (0-1) as he pitched 1.2 innings and allowed seven runs (five earned) and six hits. Ben Joseph tossed 5.1 scoreless innings of relief for Yale and only surrendered one hit.
Enos had the only multi-hit game for the Crusaders as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Both teams had seven hits apiece as Holy Cross left seven runners on base to Yale's five.
In the second game of the twin bill, both squads could not get anything going offensively as the score remained knotted at 0-0 through five innings. The Crusaders were able to break the tie in the top of the sixth, as Ahmed hit an RBI-double to right field to plate Maldonado and make the score 1-0. Walker, Holy Cross' starter, pitched five no-hit innings before he allowed his first base-knock of the contest in the top of the sixth.
The Crusaders added an insurance run in the top half of the seventh as Enos scored on a Yale error to give the Crusaders the 2-0 edge. Yale tried to start a rally in the bottom of the frame with a one-out base hit, but Walker got the final two outs to preserve the slim lead. Yale could not break out of its offensive drought for the remainder of the contest as Holy Cross would go on to claim the 2-0 victory.
Walker picked up the win (1-0) as he pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit baseball. The Crusaders bullpen of George Perrotta (Eastchester, N.Y.) and Boyce closed the door as Perrotta pitched 1.1 innings in relief and Boyce earned his second save of the day with 0.2 innings pitched. Yale starting pitcher Chris Lanham was charged with the loss (0-3), as he tossed eight innings and allowed two runs (one earned) and five hits.
Ahmed was the only Crusaders with multiple hits in the contest, as Holy Cross outhit Yale, 5-3.
Holy Cross returns to action on Tuesday, March 26, as it will host UMass at 5:00 p.m. at Fitton Field. The game will be streamed live on Crusader Vision.