Masel Walkoff Gives Baseball Saturday Sweep Vs. Army
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WORCESTER, Mass. – A walkoff RBI from junior center fielder Austin Masel lifted the Holy Cross baseball team as the Crusaders battled for a doubleheader sweep against Army West Point on Saturday, April 27.
Holy Cross 4, Army 2 (seven innings)
- Alex Volpi (2-for-2, double, three RBI)
- Andrew Selima (2-for-2, double, two runs scored, RBI)
- Austin Masel (2-for-4, run scored)
- C.J. McKennitt (2.0 IP, no hits, three strikeouts)
How It Happened:
- Freshman lefty Frank Spano, in his first collegiate start, held the Black Knights off the scoreboard through two innings of work. Army was able to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the third after a two-out double scored a pair of runs.
- Holy Cross cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth after sophomore first baseman Andrew Selima notched a one-out double and made it home safely on an RBI single from junior third baseman Alex Volpi.
- In the bottom of the fifth, Masel reached with a leadoff single and advanced to second with a stolen base. Sophomore designated hitter Evan Blum put runners on the corners with a single, and Selima laid down a perfect bunt to score Masel and tie the game up at 2-2.
- After a pitching change in the fifth, the Crusaders took a 4-2 lead after an RBI double by Volpi that scored pinch runner Andrew Paraiso and Selima.
- Freshman right-hander C.J. McKennitt pitched two hitless innings to close out the game and prevent an Army comeback.
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Holy Cross 4, Army 3
- Declan Cronin (8.0 IP, one earned run, seven hits, seven strikeouts)
- Austin Masel (2-for-5, walkoff RBI)
- Andrew Selima (1-for-3, run scored)
W: Eric Lopes (1-1)
L: Henry Flannery (1-2)
How It Happened:
- After two-and-a-half scoreless innings, the Crusaders broke through first in the bottom of the third. Blum earned a two-out walk, and he advanced to third after a fielding error by the Army shortstop. He was then able to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead after scoring on another error by the shortstop.
- Army tied the game up in the top of the fifth and gained a 2-1 lead in the sixth off an unearned run.
- Holy Cross continued to grind, tying the game in the seventh inning. Volpi drew a leadoff walk and moved to second after a sacrifice bunt from senior second baseman Alex Gionis. After freshman Nate Wolf hit a pinch-hit single, the right fielder bobbled the ball, giving Volpi time to score from second base and make it a 2-2 game.
- The Crusaders again capitalized on a miscue by the Black Knights in the eighth inning to take a 3-2 lead. With sophomore left fielder David Kale and Selima at first and second with two outs, Army’s third baseman overthrew the reach of the first baseman on a routine ground ball, giving Selima ample time to score from second base.
- Army rallied back to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the ninth.
- Sophomore catcher Zach Buck singled up the middle to lead off the bottom of the ninth and was replaced by sophomore pinch runner Kyle Johnson. Johnson moved into scoring position after a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by junior shortstop Chris Rinaldi, setting up the walk-off opportunity. Masel stepped up to the plate and unleashed a base hit to deep center field, giving Johnson plenty of time to score to give the Crusaders a 4-3 win.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Holy Cross has won five straight games and improves to 18-26 overall and 12-7 in Patriot League play to move to second place in the conference standings. Army is now 24-19 overall and 11-8 in league action.
- With seven strikeouts in Saturday’s contest, senior righty Declan Cronin moves into 10th place in program history with 145 career strikeouts. His eight-inning outing marks his longest appearance of his career.
- Selima is on an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base in his last 10 games, improving his season average of .362 in 47 at-bats.
- The Crusaders’ ERA in conference play falls to a league-best 3.33.
- The Crusaders and Black Knights will play the final two games of the weekend series on Sunday, April 28.
- The doubleheader will now begin at 8:30 a.m. due to anticipated inclement weather.
- Holy Cross will celebrate Senior Day in between the two games of the doubleheader.