Baseball Holds Off Army to Extend Patriot League Semifinal Series
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WORCESTER, Mass. – After coming up short in Game 1, the second-seeded Holy Cross baseball team held off a late rally in Game 2 by third-seeded Army West Point on Saturday, May 11 to force a decisive Game 3 in the semifinal round of the Patriot League Tournament.
Army 5, Holy Cross 1
- Alex Volpi (2-for-4, double)
- Alex Gionis (1-for-3, double)
- Ben Malgeri (2-for-5)
- Chris Rinaldi (1-for-3, RBI)
- Nate Wolf (1-for-1, double)
W: Tyler Giovinco (8-4)
L: Pat McGowan (2-9)
How It Happened:
- First baseman John McKenna had a one-out double to put a runner in scoring position for the Black Knights in the second inning, but junior center fielder Austin Masel made a diving catch on a fly ball and threw to second to turn the double play and end the threat. After three consecutive singles to lead off the third inning and load the bases, though, a one-out fielder’s choice pushed the first run across for Army.
- A two-run double gave Army a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth, but the Crusaders put a run on the board in the bottom half of the inning after a sac fly from junior shortstop Chris Rinaldi scored junior third baseman Alex Volpi.
- The Crusaders had runners on first and second after walks were issued to senior second baseman Alex Gionis and Rinaldi; freshman right fielder Ben Malgeri hit a home-run distance ball that hooked just foul, however, and on the next pitch, Army starter Tyler Giovinco delivered strike three to end the inning.
- Army put two more runs on in the top of the ninth to put the game more out of reach; though Gionis had a leadoff double and Malgeri had a two-out single, the Crusaders could not rally more.
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Holy Cross 6, Army 4
- Austin Masel (2-for-5, triple, two runs scored, two RBI)
- Chris Rinaldi (2-for-5, double, two RBI)
- Alex Gionis (1-for-3, two runs scored)
- Riley Livingston (1-for-3, RBI)
- Declan Cronin (5.0 IP, one earned run, five hits, six strikeouts)
- Liam Dvorak (1.0 IP, one strikeout)
How It Happened:
- Playing as the home team in Game 2, the Black Knights put an unearned run on the board in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead.
- With two outs in the top of the fourth, the Crusaders began to rally. Junior catcher Riley Livingston delivered an RBI single to score sophomore left fielder David Kale to even things up, and Masel followed with a single up the middle to score Gionis and give Holy Cross a 2-1 lead. Rinaldi followed with a two-run double down the left field line, pushing the Crusader lead to 4-1.
- Gionis would score again in the top of the sixth inning after Masel unleashed a triple; Masel then reached home on a wild pitch to make the score 6-1.
- Army began to chip away at the lead, first with a run in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the seventh to cut within 6-4.
- Freshman right-handed pitcher C.J. McKennitt pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning; Army then drew back-to-back walks to lead off the ninth, prompting sophomore right-handed pitcher Liam Dvorak to enter the game out of the bullpen. Dvorak drew a shallow fly to left for the first out and then was able to pick off the Army runner at second in a 1-6-5 rundown for the second out. On a 3-2 count, Dvorak got third baseman Anthony Giachin to strike out swinging and end the game.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Holy Cross moves to 22-31 on the year; Army is now 31-23 overall.
- With his 77th strikeout of the year, Dvorak is now tied for eighth place in single-season strikeouts in program history. In his first relief appearance of the year, Dvorak earned his first career save and became the sixth different Crusader to record a save this season.
- Senior right-handed pitcher Declan Cronin has not lost in his last five starts; he now has 156 career strikeouts, which is tied for ninth in program history.
- Holy Cross will host Army for Game 3 with a spot in the Patriot League Tournament championship series on the line.
- First pitch at Fitton Field is set for 5:30 p.m.