Baseball Can't Hold Off No. 15 Baylor in Doubleheader
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WACO, Texas -- The Holy Cross baseball team showed plenty of fight in a doubleheader at No. 15 Baylor on Saturday, February 16, coming up short in extra innings during the opening contest before another late-inning rally allowed the Bears to take the second game.
Baylor 8, Holy Cross 5 (10 innings)
- Liam Dvorak (4.1 IP, no runs, four hits, five strikeouts)
- Riley Livingston (2-for-5, home run)
- Kellen McCormick (2-for-4, RBI)
- Alex Gionis (1-for-3, 2 RBI)
W: Kyle Hill, Baylor (1-0)
L: C.J. McKennitt, Holy Cross (0-1)
How It Happened:
- The Crusaders got out to an early 1-0 lead after senior left fielder Kellen McCormick scored on an error with two outs in the top of the second.
- Holy Cross added two more runs in the third after McCormick and senior second baseman Alex Gionis each notched RBI singles.
- Junior designated hitter Riley Livingston notched a solo homer in the sixth inning to push Holy Cross’ lead to 4-0.
- In the bottom of the sixth, Baylor began to chip away at the lead, pushing two runs across before adding two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie things up.
- The Bears threatened in the eighth, but rookie reliever C.J. McKennitt maintained his composure; with runners on the corners and two outs, freshman right fielder Ben Malgeri backpedaled to snag a tough fly ball to maintain the tie.
- Though Holy Cross could not take the lead in the top of the ninth, McKennitt again worked his way out of trouble; Baylor had a runner on third with one out, but McKennitt secured a pair of swinging strikeouts to force extras.
- With just one out in the top of the 10th and runners on the corners, Gionis hit a sac fly to score sophomore third baseman Peter Dudunakis and give the Crusaders a 5-4 lead.
- The Bears tied the contest back up quickly at 5-5 in the bottom of the 10th after a two-out RBI from Davion Downey. With two runners on, Ryan Bertelsman launched a home run to left field that hooked just fair, securing the 8-5 walkoff victory.
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Baylor 8, Holy Cross 5
- Zach Buck (2-for-5, 2 RBI, double)
- Riley Livingston (1-for-5, two runs scored, triple)
- Kellen McCormick (1-for-3, one run scored)
W: Daniel Caruso, Baylor (1-0)
L: Kyle Johnson, Holy Cross (0-1)
S: Kyle Hill (1)
How It Happened:
- Holy Cross again jumped ahead early, capitalizing on a pair of errors in the third inning that scored McCormick and Livingston to take a 2-0 lead.
- Baylor quickly answered in the bottom half of the third to even the contest at 2-2, but that tie would not hold for long, as the Crusaders got to work in the fifth. Livingston led off the inning with a triple to left field before Malgeri earned a one-out walk. Sophomore designated hitter Zach Buck then had a one-out double to left center to score both Malgeri and Livingston. With two outs, sophomore first baseman Evan Blum doubled down the left field line to score Buck, giving the Crusaders a 5-2 lead.
- The Bears looked to respond immediately, loading the bases in the bottom of the fifth with nobody out. The damage in the inning was minimal, as sophomore Eric Lopes came in the game in relief and allowed just a sac fly to score one run before getting two more outs.
- The Bears knotted the game up at 5-5 in the sixth inning after runners scored on a groundout and a sac fly.
- Richard Cunningham had a two-RBI triple in the bottom of the seventh to give Baylor its first lead of the game, and Davis Wendzel tacked on an insurance run with a single through the left side to give the Bears an 8-5 lead.
- Dudunakis had a leadoff double to begin the eighth, but the next two Crusaders in line struck out; Gionis drew a walk to put runners on first and second before a pop-up ended the inning. Holy Cross had another runner in scoring position with one out in the ninth after Masel singled and advanced on an error, but Baylor’s Kyle Hill shut down the Crusaders’ final two batters to close out the Baylor victory.
- Holy Cross rounds out the weekend series with the Bears on Sunday, February 17 at Baylor Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.