WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross senior class combined for eight hits, two RBIs, two runs, allowed no runs and earned a save on "Senior Day" to push the Crusaders to a two-game sweep over Lehigh in Patriot League baseball action on Sunday afternoon at Fitton Field. The Crusaders won both games by scores of 3-2 and 4-0.
With the pair of wins, Holy Cross advances to 22-20 overall (12-4 PL) on the season, while Lehigh's record falls to 18-24 overall (5-11 PL). The Crusaders also clinched a playoff spot in the Patriot League Tournament.
The Mountain Hawks struck first with a pair of runs, one in the third and one in the fourth inning to go on top 2-0. The Crusaders, however, rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Jordan Enos (Stockton, Calif.) doubled down the left field line to start the inning. The next at bat, junior Mike Ahmed (East Longmeadow, Mass.) drew a walk and Enos advanced to third on a passed ball. Junior Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.) singled up the middle to score Enos and move Ahmed over to third. Senior Stephen Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.) then reached first on a fielding error by the third baseman to score Ahmed and tie the score at 2-2. Freshman Connor Perry (Haverhill, Mass.) hit the go-ahead RBI-single up the middle to bring in Cipolla and make the score 3-2.
In the seventh inning, Lehigh threatened with runners on first and third with one out. However, Holy Cross senior pitcher John Colella (Herndon, Va.) retired the next two batters in the order to preserve the win for the Crusaders. Colella earned his fourth save of the season and third of the weekend. He pitched the final 2.2 innings and allowed only one hit and struck out two batters.
Sophomore pitcher Donny Murray (Walpole, Mass.) earned the win pitching the first 4.1 innings advancing his record to 4-3. Murray struck out six batters and only allowed three hits. Lehigh's Mike Burke received the loss falling to 3-3. Holy Cross outhit Lehigh 5-4 during the contest.
In the second game of the twinbill, the Crusaders struck first in the bottom of the second inning. Ahmed led off the frame with a walk. During the next at bat he stole second and advanced to third on a ground out by Cipolla. After Wadsworth was hit by a pitch, freshman Nick Lovullo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) laid down a sacrifice squeeze bunt to score Ahmed and give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead.
Holy Cross added another run in the third inning to get ahead 2-0. Sophomore Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.) doubled to center to lead off the inning and moved to second on a junior Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) single during the next at bat. Two batters later, Enos hit into a fielder's choice to score Ocello for the second run of the game.
In the fifth inning with one out, Puentes and Enos hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Two batters later, Cipolla singled to right center to score Puentes and give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead.
Holy Cross scored its final run in the seventh inning. Puentes led off with a single and with one out, Ahmed advanced him to second on another base hit. Cipolla hit an RBI-single to plate Puentes and make the final score its final.
Ahmed pitched six shutout innings and allowed five hits and one walk, while striking out two batters. He picked up the win and evened his record at 3-3. Junior Nate Walker (San Diego, Calif.) earned his first save of the season as he tossed the final three innings and only allowed two hits and one walk, while he struck out four. Lehigh's Kevin Long was charged with the loss and falls to 1-3 on the season, as he surrendered three earned runs and seven hits.
Puentes led the Crusaders with three hits and moves his hitting streak to 10 games, while Ocello, Cipolla and senior Alex Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each had two hits apiece. Holy Cross held a 12-7 advantage in hits during the second game.
In a brief pregame ceremony, the Holy Cross baseball team honored its 12 senior class members during its annual "Senior Day" for their commitment to Crusaders baseball over the past four seasons. In addition to Maldonado, Puentes, Enos, Colella and Wadsworth, the 2013 senior class includes outfielder Josh Olson (Woodbury, Minn.) and pitchers Tom Marra (Sea Cliff, N.Y.), Conor Moynihan (Worcester, Mass.), Andrew Boyce (Avon, Conn.), Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas), Chris Kono (Greenwich, Conn.) and George Perrotta (East Chester, N.Y.).
Holy Cross returns to action on Tuesday, April 23, when it travels to Sanford, Maine to take on Maine at 5:30 p.m.
2013 Senior Day Ceremony