WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross junior Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) hit a walk-off single during game two to help the Crusaders complete a sweep of Navy in Patriot League baseball action on Saturday afternoon at Fitton Field. Holy Cross defeated Navy in both games by a score of 3-0 and 10-9.
With the pair of wins, Holy Cross advances to 16-18 overall (8-2 Patriot League) on the season, while Navy's record is now 17-19 overall (4-6 Patriot League).
After a scoreless five innings by both teams, the Crusaders scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, to make the score 3-0. Navy walked senior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and sophomore Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) to put runners on first and second. After the runners advanced on a passed ball, junior Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) singled through the left side to score Maldonado for the first run. Ocello scored during the next at bat on a wild pitch to give the Crusaders a 2-0 edge. Two batters later, junior Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) laid down a bunt that was overthrown to first, allowing Barry to score the third and final run of the inning.
The Midshipmen could not come back in the top of the seventh and pitcher John Schoberl (2-5) was credited with the loss. Holy Cross senior pitcher Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) pitched his second consecutive complete-game shutout as he earned the win (2-3). Marra allowed no runs while striking out nine batters in his seven innings of work. He only allowed two hits in the game, one in each the sixth and the seventh innings.
Barry went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI during the game as the Crusaders held the 4-2 advantage in hits.
In the second game of the twinbill Navy took an early 2-0 lead after two innings, however in the bottom of the second, the Crusaders rallied to score four runs. Senior Patrick Puentes (East Greenbush, N.Y.) got the rally going as he was hit by a pitch. Puentes scored on the next at bat on a double down the left field line by senior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.). Freshman Nick Lovullo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) singled to left field and two batters later Ocello was hit by a pitch to load the bases. During the next at bat, Barry hit a three-RBI double over the left fielder to clear the bases and put Holy Cross up 4-2.
Navy responded with four total runs in the third and fifth innings to bring them ahead 6-4, but Holy Cross replied with another four-run inning in the bottom of the fifth inning. To lead off the frame, Navy walked Ocello and Barry singled to put runners on first and second. Two batters later, Cipolla ripped a double to right center to score Ocello and Barry and tie the score, 6-6. Puentes then singled to put runners on the corners as Wadsworth singled to right field to score Cipolla bringing the Crusaders ahead, 7-6. Ahmed then laid down a sacrifice squeeze bunt to plate Puentes and put Holy Cross up 8-6.
Navy countered with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game 8-8, but Holy Cross again retook the lead in the bottom half of the sixth with an RBI single by senior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) to score Ocello. Navy scored again in the seventh to make the score 9-9 entering the final two innings.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Wadsworth singled and moved over to second on a throwing error by Navy to keep the Crusaders alive. Holy Cross sophomore Jack St. Clair (Newton, Mass.) pinch ran for Wadsworth at second as Ahmed came to the plate. St. Clair moved to third on a passed ball, putting him 90 feet away from winning the game. Ahmed then ripped a single through the left side to score St. Clair and walk off with the 10-9 victory for the Crusaders.
Holy Cross senior pitcher John Colella (Herndon, Va.) entered the game in the sixth inning as he pitched the final 3.2 innings to record the win (2-3). He allowed one earned run on four hits while striking out five batters. Navy's Brad Borosak was charged with the loss (0-3) as he allowed the final unearned run of the game.
Barry went 4-for-5 during game two with three RBIs, and Wadsworth went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Ocello crossed home three times during the second game.
Holy Cross returns to action on Sunday, April 14, as it will host Navy in a second Patriot League doubleheader at 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Fitton Field.
Postgame interview with junior co-captain Mike Ahmed