Sports Information Director
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – The Holy Cross baseball team wrapped up their four-game Kentucky trip on Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader against the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) Patriots. A late two-run rally to tie the score in game one was not enough as the Patriots walked-off the Saints in the bottom of the seventh inning by a final score of 3-2. Game two proved to be more difficult for the Saints as they fell 14-2.
Game one of Sunday's doubleheader proved to be one of the better baseball games you will see this season. Both starting pitchers had control on the mound and made opportunities limited for the hitters.
Freshman Trey Bickel (FR, Mishawaka, Ind.) made his collegiate debut for the Saints and held the Patriots hitless throughout the first four innings.
With the game still scoreless, the Patriots found the first surge of momentum in the bottom of the fifth inning. After the first two batters were shutdown via strikeout, Cumberlands proceeded to put together a two-out rally which was capped off with a Keith Tidwell single that brought home the first two runs of the game. Sophomore Blake Correll (SO, Oak Creek, Wis.) came in to get the final out of the inning for the Saints as they headed to the sixth inning trailing 2-0.
Jackson Hallahan (SR, Lester Prairie, Minn.) got things started in the sixth with an infield single for the Saints while Paul Kappaz (JR, Grosse Pointe, Mich.) responded with a two-run home run over the left field wall to tie the game. The Saints were unable to get any more base runners in the inning, but the Kappaz homer provided a much need offensive spark in a tough road game.
Correll continued to work will in the bottom half of the sixth inning as he shut down the Patriots in order. The Saints would get the go-ahead run to third base in the top of the seventh but were unable to bring home the run. The game would head to the bottom of the seventh with the score tied at 2-2.
Hibraim Cordova ended the game rather quickly in the bottom of the seventh after taking the 3-2 count over the left field wall for the walk-off 3-2 win for the Patriots.
"I thought Trey pitched a great game for us," head coach Brian Blondell stated. "It was just a great game played by both teams and they made one more play than we did."
Game two in Sunday's doubleheader proved to be a more difficult task for the Saints as Cumberlands scored at least two runs through the first four innings.
The Patriots got things started quickly in the first inning as they plated three runs off of three hits and two Saints errors. Their biggest inning of the game came in the bottom of the third as they added four runs off of five hits to extend their lead to 9-0.
Mike Pizzuto (JR, Sarasota, Fla.) got the Saints on the board in the top of the fourth inning after a double to left center field scored Max Linnville (SO, Boone, N.C.). The Saints would add one more run in the top of the sixth inning when freshman Tommy Goodale (FR, Indianola, Iowa) ripped a triple to right center field and advanced on the cutoff throw to bring the Saints within 11-2.
Cumberlands would add three more runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning to bring us to our final score of 14-2.
Hits were a little more scarce for the Saints in game two as they managed just five in 26 at bats. Jacob Lanning (JR, Roscoe, Ill.) suffered the loss in the game after allowing seven hits and five earned runs in 2.0 innings of work. Four other pitchers saw action in the game, including three freshmen making their Holy Cross debuts.
"We were a little unlucky in game two as it seemed every hit of theirs found every hole possible," Blondell continued. "It was just one of those games for us.
"Overall, we competed very well this weekend against two top-level programs. These experiences will be very good for us as we get into the heart of the schedule."
Holy Cross (1-3) is scheduled to return to the diamond on Saturday, March 1 with a doubleheader against Rockford College at Lenz Field (Jacksonville, Ill.). The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown out at 4:00 pm EST.