Sports Information Director
LAKE WALES, Fla. – The Holy Cross Saints baseball team found themselves trailing early once again in Friday's game against Mount Vernon Nazarene University but strung together a five-run third inning to tie the score at five. It was the struggles following the big inning that hurt the Saints as they fell just short in matching the Cougars late run. Nick Munger (FR, Perrysburg, Ohio) made his first career start in a Holy Cross uniform, however, the Saints came up just short as they fell to the Cougars by a final score of 7-6. Jacob Lanning (JR, Roscoe, Ill.) went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Saints while Paul Kappaz (JR, Grosse Pointe, Mich.) drove in a team-best three RBI's.
Mount Vernon got off to a fast start in Friday's neutral site game as they scored five runs in the first two innings. The Cougars added a run in the top of the first inning without recording a hit and proceeded to add four more in the top of the second with three hits and the help of two Saints errors. It was in the bottom of the third inning where the Saints would muster up their comeback. With the bases loaded and just one out, Paul Kappaz laced a double to left center field to clear the bases and bring the Saints within 5-3. Mike Pizzuto (JR, Sarasota, Fla.) followed up the bases clearing double by Kappaz with a single to right field before Max Linnville (SO, Boone, N.C.) drove in Kappaz to bring the Saints within one run at 5-4. The Saints would then tie the game late in the inning following a throwing error by the catcher.
The Cougars would get runners in scoring position early in the top of the fourth following a leadoff walk and error by the Saints. Holy Cross would then keep the runners stranded on second and third with two outs before Mount Vernon would answer with a triple to left center field to retake a 7-5 lead.
Chris Woodruff (JR, Mishawaka, Ind.) responded for the Saints in the bottom half of the fourth with a one-out triple to get the Saints in prime scoring position. Jackson Hallahan (SR, Lester Prairie, Minn.) would sacrifice Woodruff in to bring the Saints within 7-6 while Jacob Lanning would get to second base with two outs following a double to left field. The Saints, however, were unable to get Lanning across home plate as they still trailed 7-6.
The Saints would have another opportunity to tie the game in the fifth inning as Pat Sweeney (SR, Sarasota, Fla.) would advance to third base on a wild pitch, but the Saints were unable to bring the tying run home.
The bottom of the seventh inning got off to a solid start for the Saints as Jacob Lanning led off the inning with a single to center field. Paul Kappaz would sacrifice the runner to second base before the lead runner was thrown out at third base on the fielder's choice, ending the opportunity for the Saints. The game would end on a fielder's choice as the Saints would drop their fifth consecutive game by a final of 7-6.
Jacob Lanning led the Saints at the plate going 3-for-4 with a double while Paul Kappaz went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI's.
Nick Munger (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season going four innings in his first career start while allowing six hits, seven runs (three earned) and striking out one. The Saints bullpen would combine to go three innings while allowing just one hit.
Holy Cross (3-13) will wrap up their spring break trip in Florida on Saturday with a doubleheader against Warner (Fla.) University.