WORCESTER, Mass. – Hartford centerfielder Chris DelDebbio drove in two runs on a base knock in the top of the 11th inning to help lead the Hawks to an 8-6 victory over Holy Cross in non-conference baseball action on Tuesday evening at Fitton Field. With the win, Hartford improves to 13-9 overall, while the Crusaders fall to 7-15 on the season.
Holy Cross struck first with a pair of runs in the opening inning to gain the 2-0 lead. Holy Cross junior designated hitter Jack St. Clair (Newton, Mass.) drove in the first run on an RBI-double to score senior outfielder Brandon Cipolla (Abington, Mass.). St. Clair scored later in the frame on a sophomore catcher Connor Perry (Haverhill, Mass.) single.
The Hawks tallied one run in the top of the second inning, before the Crusaders answered with a score in the bottom of the third. Holy Cross sophomore shortstop Nick Lovullo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) led off the frame with a triple down the left-field line and scored during the next at bat on a sacrifice fly out by Cipolla to give the Crusaders the 3-1 lead.
Hartford put together a rally in the top of the fifth inning, as it pushed across three runs to grab the 4-3 edge. Holy Cross, however, knotted the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by St. Clair to plate junior outfielder Evan Ocello (Camarillo, Calif.). The Crusaders added one run in both the sixth and seventh innings to earn the 6-4 advantage. Holy Cross freshman first baseman Bill Schlich (Massapequa, N.Y.) scored in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Ocello, while Perry plated St. Clair on a fielder's choice in the seventh.
The Hawks, however, rallied again in the top of the eighth inning, as catcher James Alfonso knotted the score at 6-6 on a two-run home run – his second of the season – over the left-field fence. The score remained tied at 6-6, until DelDebbio drove in the eventual game-winning runs in the top of the 11th inning to claim the 8-6 win for the visitors.
Holy Cross freshman relief pitcher Jon Escobar (Inverness, Ill.) was charged with the loss (0-2), as he surrendered the game-clinching runs in the top of the 11th inning on one hit and three walks. Hartford reliever Kyle Gauthier picked up the win (2-0), as he pitched two no-hit innings to close out the game. Crusader junior starting pitcher Donny Murray (Walpole, Mass.) tossed 4.2 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits, while fanning four batters.
The Crusaders were led offensively by St. Clair, who batted 2-for-4 with two runs and a pair of RBIs. Holy Cross senior second baseman Andrew Barry (Puyallup, Wash.) went 3-for-5 in the contest, while Perry went 1-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Hartford held the 11-9 advantage in total hits in the contest.
Holy Cross returns to action on Wednesday, April 2, when it will host Marist on Fitton Field at 5:00 p.m.