Sports Information Director
ELGIN, Ill. – The Holy Cross baseball team made history on Saturday evening, taking part in their first-ever Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) postseason tournament against the No. 2 seed from Judson (Ill.) University. It was a tough top of the third inning, however, that would put the Saints in trouble as Judson would add eight runs to take a commanding early lead. The Saints would add one run in the game before ultimately falling to the Eagles in the double-elimination tournament by a final score of 11-1.
Despite playing at Judson's home field, the fate of a coin toss gave the Saints the option to be the home team in Saturday's round one meeting.
Matt Schwitz (JR/Granger, Ind.) struck out the first batter of the game before a pair of misplayed balls in the infield and a walk quickly put the Eagles in prime position in the opening frame. With the bases loaded and just one out, Schwitz forced a pop out to the infield to hold all three runners in their place. A fielder's choice to shortstop then ended the inning with no harm done.
The Saints would get runners to second base in each of the first two innings but were unable capitalize with two outs.
It was the top of the third inning when things started to go eerie for the Saints; a pair of walks to start the inning and a bunt single were capped off with a grand slam to left field to put the Eagles up 4-0. The Eagles continued to come up with big hits in the inning, plating four more two-out runs to extend their lead to 8-0 in the third.
Despite the big inning from Judson, the Saints added a run of their own in the bottom half of the third after Stephen Clancy (JR/Yorkville, Ill.) reached first on an error and then stole his 21st base of the year to reach second base. Paul Kappaz (JR/Grosse Pointe, Mich.) would then pick up his second hit in as many at bats to bring home Clancy and make it an 8-1 to score through three innings.
After a clean fourth inning with no runs scored, Judson would add two more runs after a two-out single to left center extended their lead to 10-1. They would then extend their lead to 11-1 in the sixth inning without recording a hit.
Trailing by 10 in the bottom of the seventh, the Saints had runners on first and third with no outs after Darwing Ereu (JR/Mishawaka, Ind.) and Mike Pizzuto (JR/Sarasota, Fla.) each rattled off back-to-back singles to put the Saints in position to score. A shallow fly out to right field and a game-ending double play would strand the runners and put the Saints one loss away from the end of their historic 2014 season.
Matt Schwitz (5-5) suffered the loss in the outing, pitching 3.0 innings and giving up all eight runs in the top of the third. Nick Munger (FR/Perrysburg, Ohio) tossed 2.0 innings out of the pen while allowing two runs and striking out three while Blake Comella (JR/Glendale, Ariz.) gave up a run in 2.0 innings of work, as well.
Paul Kappaz and Darwing Ereu each went 2-for-3 at the plate for the Saints, with Kappaz driving in the only run of the game.
Holy Cross (21-32) will now face an elimination matchup with Olivet Nazarene University on Monday, May 6 at 1:00 pm EST. Live video and stats will be provided courtesy of Judson University athletics.