Sports Information Director
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Holy Cross baseball team got back in the win column on Saturday afternoon as they opened up conference play with their 2014 home opener against No. 18 Judson (Ill.). Jordan Gard (SO/Mishawaka, Ind.) pitched all seven innings in game one as the Saints knocked off the Eagles 3-1. It was Judson, though, who would come out on top in game two by knocking off the Saints 5-3. With the win in game one, the Saints ended their previous eight-game losing skid.
Jordan Gard set the tone for the Saints early in game one of their home opener striking out the final two batters in the top of the first. It was then in the bottom of the second inning where the Saints opened up the scoring. Mike Pizzuto (JR/Sarasota, Fla.) and Stephen Clancy (JR/Yorkville, Ill.) got things rolling in the inning with a pair of singles before Ben Bournay (SR/Dowagiac, Mich.) moved both runners into scoring position following a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Darwing Ereu (JR/Mishawaka, Ind.) singled a shot to right field to bring home both runners as the Saints opened up an early 2-0 advantage.
The Saints added their third consecutive run in the bottom of the third inning after Darwing Ereu led things off with a single. A failed pickoff attempt at first base allowed pinch runner Tom McCartney (JR/Saginaw, Mich.) to advance to third base and put the Saints in prime scoring position with no outs. Jackson Hallahan (SR/Lester Prairie, Minn.) singled to left field to score McCartney and extend the Saints advantage to 3-0.
With their lead sitting at 3-0, it was Gard who continued to minimize opportunities for the Eagles. Through his first six innings on the mound, Gard allowed just three hits and did not allow a run.
The Eagles would find some momentum with two outs in the top of the seventh after a double to right center cut the Saints lead to 3-1. However, Gard remained composed on the mound and got a lineout to third base to end the game with a complete game victory and snapping the Saints previous eight-game losing streak. This was also the first time the Saints have defeated a team ranked in the top-25.
Jordan Gard (2-1, 3.76 ERA) pitched his first complete of the year on his way to a team-best second win.
The Saints had another great opportunity to open up the scoring in game two with the bases loaded but were unable to bring a run home, stranding all three runners on base.
Judson provided a big threat in the top of the fourth inning as they had the bases loaded with just one out. Blake Correll (SO/Oak Creek, Wis.) would come in out of the bullpen to get a force out at the plate and strike out the Eagles leadoff hitter to strand all three runners on base and get the Saints out of an early difficult jam.
The Eagles would be first to strike, however, adding the game's first run in the top of the fifth inning following a pair of miscues by the Saints. They would extend their lead to 4-0 in the sixth inning following a bases-clearing triple with two outs.
The Saints found their own luck in the bottom half of the inning as Paul Kappaz (JR/Grosse Pointe, Mich.) scored on an error after stealing third base. They would find two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning following an error by the Eagles and a passed ball. With the tying run on third, however, the Saints would just get within 4-3 in the frame.
Judson would add one final run in the eighth inning following a sacrifice fly to extend their lead to 5-3 which the Saints were unable to come back from. The win for No. 18 Judson would give them a series split.
Nick Munger (FR/Perrysburg, Ohio) (0-2, 6.57 ERA) suffered the decision in the game.
As a team, the Saints gave up 10 walks in the game.
Holy Cross (4-17) will return to the diamond on Sunday, March 23 with games against Grace (Ind.) and Goshen (Ind.) as a part of a three-team series. Grace and Goshen will square off at Four Winds Field first at 11:00 am on Sunday with the Saints playing the final two games. They are scheduled to open up against Grace at approximately 1:30 pm.
|Holy Cross at||5th of 7|
|Day 1 - CCAC Conference Championship at Flossmoor Country Club in Flossmoor, IL|
|Holy Cross at||2nd of 14|
|Day 1 - CCAC Conference Championship at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, IL|
|St. Olaf College at||2|
|Michigan State University at||11|
|Wayne State University at||6|