Sports Information Director
BENSENVILLE, Ill. – The Holy Cross Saints baseball team concluded its 2014 regular season on Wednesday evening on the road at Robert Morris University. With playoff implications on the line for the host Eagles, the Saints turned in the lone run in game one, knocking off the Eagles 1-0 in 12 innings and ending their shot at the 2014 CCAC tournament. Robert Morris, however, would take game two by a score of 2-1 to split the series finale with the Saints.
"The guys did a great job ending the regular season on a positive note," head coach Brian Blondell said. "Game one was a tough battle but we came up with one more play than them and came out with the win."
Run's would be hard to come by in game one of the Saints series finale, with both teams seeing excellent performances from their starting pitchers.
In the originally schedule seven innings, only one team provided a threat with two or more runners left on base.
The Saints would provide a bit of a threat in the top of the seventh inning Mike Pizzuto (JR/Sarasota, Fla.) led off the inning reaching first base on a hit by pitch. Chris Woodruff (JR/Mishawaka, Ind.) would pinch run for Pizzuto and advance to second base after the hit-and-run from Blake Correll (SO/Oak Creek, Wis.). Unfortunately, the Saints were unable to bring Woodruff any close to home, and would give Robert Morris the chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh.
Jacob Lanning (JR/Roscoe, Ill.) continued to pitch strong late in Wednesday night's contest, shutting down the Eagles in order in the bottom of the seventh and stranding the potential game-winning run on third base in the bottom of the eighth.
The Saints would find a golden opportunity to bring home the first run of the game in the top of the 10th as Jackson Hallahan (SR/Lester Prairie, Minn.) and Jacob Lanning advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch with two outs. As it had trended in the earlier stages, though, the starting pitcher for the Eagles was able to strand the Saints on the base paths and advance to bottom of the 10th.
Lanning would complete nine innings for the Saints before being replaced by freshman Adam Janowiak (FR/Granger, Ind.). In the nine innings of work, Lanning allowed six hits, zero runs and struck out six.
Janowiak would continue the solid pitching performance for the Saints, shutting down all six batters he faced over two innings of work to bring us to the top of the 12th tied at 0-0.
The Saints would finally breakthrough in the top of the 12th inning as Jordan Hinton (SO/Granger, Ind.) would drive in the go-ahead run to put the Saints up 1-0. Blake Correll would come in during the bottom of the 12th and close the door for the Saints despite having two runners aboard. Correll fanned two in the inning en route to his fifth save of the year.
Adam Janowiak picked up his first career win for the Saints after the two scoreless innings.
The 12 inning game one was the longest game the Saints have played this season.
Trey Bickel (FR/Mishawaka, Ind.) would take the rubber for the Saints in game two, getting through two scoreless innings before the Eagles added the first run of the game in the bottom of the third.
After a three-hit inning in the bottom of the third, CJ Superczynski (SO/South Bend, Ind.) would get the Saints out of the inning with a line-out double play that stranded to runners on base.
Robert Morris would add their second run of the evening in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 2-0. Paul Geha (FR/Fort Wayne, Ind.) would walk three batters in the inning, but close it out strong with a strikeout.
A strong start to the top of the seventh inning put the Saints on first and second after Paul Kappaz (JR/Grosse Pointe, Mich.) and Tommy Goodale (FR/Indianola, Iowa) led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Bryan Reed (FR/Charlotte, Mich.) would then sacrifice bunt both runners into scoring position with just one out in the inning. Darwing Ereu (JR/Mishawaka, Ind.) would bring home one run for the Saints on a fielder's choice, as the Eagles threw Goodale out at third for the second out of the inning. The game would then end as Ereu was caught stealing second to secure the win for the Eagles in game two by a score of 2-1.
The Saints finished with just three hits in game two.
"It was good to get one final win before we head to the conference tournament," Blondell continued. "Our guys have battled all year to put themselves in this position and we look forward to the challenges that are head."
The Saints conclude the regular season with a program-best 21-31 overall record, including a program-best 15-12 record in CCAC play. They will make their debut in the CCAC postseason beginning on Saturday, May 3 in Elgin, Ill. Their opponent is still to be determined and will be posted as soon as the official bracket is released sometime tomorrow.