Sports Information Director
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – Fresh off two of the most lopsided losses of the 2014 season, the Holy Cross baseball team returned to the field on Tuesday afternoon with a twinbill against Cardinal Stritch University in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action. Facing arguably the most talented pitcher in the conference in game one, the Saints took advantage of some miscues by the Wolves and picked up a 2-1 victory in game one despite getting just one hit. After falling behind 1-0 in the finale, the Saints added a pair of late runs to complete the series sweep with another 2-1 victory.
With the pair of wins, the Saints improve to 8-22 overall and 4-3 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
"Very proud of the boys today," second year head coach Brian Blondell stated. "The conditions were not great today, but they came out with great effort and the will to win."
In a game where hits were scarce for the Saints, they knew they'd have to take advantage of the opportunities on the base paths going up against the Wolves ace, Luke Erickson. Chris Woodruff (JR/Mishawaka, Ind.) led the game off for the Saints with a single, however, that would be the only hit the Saints would record over the entire seven innings.
Darwing Ereu (JR/Mishawaka, Ind.) drew a walk in the top of the third inning to give the Saints their first base runner since the first inning. After stealing second base, Ereu then advanced to third on a wild pitch from Erickson. The Saints would then catch a huge break in the game as a passed ball allowed Ereu to score the game's first run.
Jacob Lanning (JR/Roscoe, Ill.) continued to put zeroes on the board for the Saints and held the Wolves scoreless through the first five innings.
It was in the top of the sixth where the Saints found another spark on offense. Chris Woodruff led off the inning with a walk and quickly stole his second base of the game to get in scoring position. Jackson Hallahan (SR/Lester Prairie, Minn.) advanced Woodruff to third base before Jacob Lanning brought home the Saints second run following a sacrifice squeeze. With the run, the Saints extended their lead to 2-0.
The Wolves would add an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the Saints lead to 2-1, however, Lanning remained poised on the mound in the seventh and closed out the game with a 2-1 victory.
For the game, Lanning (1-5) pitched all seven innings while allowing five hits, one unearned run and a season-high seven strikeouts en route to his first career win. Lanning also had the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Much like game one, game two provided another great display of pitching from both teams as the game was scoreless through the first three innings.
Stritch was first to get on the board in game two after Mazur got things started with a two-out triple. Schnulle would single in Mazur to put the Saints behind 1-0.
Jordan Gard (SO/Mishawaka, Ind.) continued to pitch well for the Saints despite giving up the one run. In five innings on the mound, Gard allowed seven hits, one run and struck out four before his day was up.
The Saints responded in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game at one following a three-hit inning. Jackson Hallahan doubled to left field before Jacob Lanning drove him in with a single to centerfield to get the game tied at 1-1.
Following the tying run, Matt Schwitz (JR/Granger, Ind.) came in to throw two shutout innings for the Saints. Despite having the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Schwitz forced a groundball by the Wolves to get out of the inning and leave the runners stranded.
The Saints would take the lead in the top of the eighth inning following an error by the Wolves. Austin Kiser-Petrie (SR/Lucerne, Ind.) would then come into the game with a 2-1 lead and shut down the Wolves for the final six outs as the Saints would leave Wisconsin with the two-game series sweep over Cardinal Stritch. In the effort, Kiser would pick up his first save of the season while allowing just one hit over the two innings and striking out three.
Matt Schwitz (2-4) would pick up his second win in three days after logging two scoreless innings and striking out two hitters.
Jacob Lanning went 3-for-4 with an RBI at the plate to lead the Saints.
"It was huge for us to come out with two conference wins on the road," continued Blondell. "Now we need to stay focused for a big three-game series with Purdue North Central this weekend."
The Saints (8-22, 4-3 CCAC) will resume conference action beginning on Saturday, April 5 with a 2:00 pm DH at Four Winds Field against Purdue North Central. They will wrap up the three-game series on the road on Sunday afternoon.