EASTON, Pa. – Holy Cross senior catcher Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) batted 5-for-6 with two runs, a home run and four RBIs as the Crusaders split the twin bill with Lafayette in Patriot League baseball action on Saturday afternoon at Kamine Stadium. Holy Cross won the first contest, 3-0, as the Leopards claimed the second game, 8-7.
The Crusaders record is now 12-16 overall and 4-2 in the Patriot League, while Lafayette's record stands at 6-23 on the season and 3-3 in the conference. Crusaders senior pitcher Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) tossed a complete game during the first contest as he allowed four hits over seven scoreless innings to go along with seven strikeouts.
After three scoreless frames by both teams, the Crusaders opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning. Holy Cross junior infielder Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) walked to begin the inning and moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior outfielder Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.). After Ahmed stole third base, Wadsworth drove him in on an RBI-single through the left side to give Holy Cross the 1-0 lead.
The Crusaders were able to tack on some insurance runs in the sixth inning. Puentes pushed the first run across the plate on an RBI-double to left center, which scored senior first baseman Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.), and gave Holy Cross the 2-0 lead. During the next at-bat, Wadsworth ripped a double to left center to plate Puentes and increase the advantage to 3-0.
Marra recorded a pair of strikeouts during the bottom of the seventh inning as he retired the Leopards in order to claim his first victory of the season on the bump (1-3). Lafayette starter Michael Massa was charged with the loss (2-4) as he tossed six innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits. Massa walked five batters and struck out three.
Wadsworth and senior shortstop Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each had two hits for Holy Cross as the Crusaders held the 6-4 advantage in hits during game one.
In the second game of the afternoon, Holy Cross grabbed the early lead in the top of the first inning as junior second baseman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) scored on a groundout by Ahmed to give the Crusaders the 1-0 edge. Holy Cross pushed the lead to 3-0 in the top of the second. Freshman infielder Nick Lovullo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) plated the first run on a sacrifice fly to score Enos. During the next at-bat, Maldonado singled to right field to plate Wadsworth for the final run of the frame. Lafayette, however, countered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the second to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Crusaders struck for two runs in the top of the third inning as junior outfielder Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) scored first on an error by Lafayette. Wadsworth kept his hot bat going as he ripped a double to left center, which scored Enos and gave the Crusaders the 5-2 lead. The Leopards again responded with two in the bottom of the third to keep the game within one run. Lafayette would tie the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Holy Cross tacked on a run in the top half of the fifth inning as Wadsworth belted his second home run of the season over the left-center fence to give the Crusaders the 6-5 edge. Lafayette knotted the score in the bottom of the sixth, but Cipolla helped Holy Cross get the lead back as he crushed his first homer of the season to make the score 7-6.
Lafayette, however, grabbed its first lead of the series in the bottom of the eighth inning, as it pushed a pair of runs across the plate to go on top 8-7. In the top of the ninth, Holy Cross tried to mount a comeback, but it ended the frame with the bases loaded.
Holy Cross senior pitcher Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.) was credited with the loss (2-3) as he allowed three earned runs and six hits over 3.1 innings pitched. Boyce walked two and struck out a pair. Lafayette pitcher Mitch Leeds picked up the win (1-0) as he allowed one earned run over three innings on the bump.
Enos and Wadsworth each had a pair of hits in game two as Lafayette held the 13-10 advantage in the hitting department.
Holy Cross returns to action on Sunday, April 7, as it will conclude the four-game series with the Leopards. Sunday's twin bill will begin at 12:00 p.m.