(Williamsburg, Ky.) The Holy Cross Saints baseball program continued their spring break trek around Kentucky with their fourth game in five days and third straight against the University of the Cumberlands. Pitching woes hurt the Saints early in the contest as they struggled to find the strike zone. A four run third inning by the Patriots put the Saints behind five runs which they were unable to come back from. The Saints fell to Cumberlands 7-2, dropping their third straight.
"Today wasn't our best day on the mound," said coach Blondell. "We struggled to find the strike zone and put too many runners on base."
Cumberlands was first to get on the board in Tuesday afternoon's matchup after Hibraim Cordova hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Victor Morel. The Patriots patient approach at the plate allowed them to get their first six hitters plate appearances. Luckily for the Saints, only one run was managed in the long bottom of the first inning.
The Saints shut down the Patriots in the bottom half of the second inning to keep it at a one run game before a four run third inning put them in a tough spot.
Trailing 5-0, Holy Cross put together a little rally after Ben Bournay (Dowagiac, Mich.) led off with a single and Paul Kappaz (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) followed it up with an RBI double. Mike Tarala (Schererville, Ind.) advanced Kappaz to third with a sacrifice bunt before Daniel Wawrzusin (Potomac, Md.) brought him in with an RBI single through the hole at shortstop to cut the Patriots lead to 5-2.
Cumberlands would respond to the Saints little rally in the bottom half of the fourth and score a run of their own to extend the lead to 6-2. They followed in the fifth with another run, the last of the game, to make it a 7-2 lead.
The Saints were unable to score anymore runs in the sixth or seventh and fell to the Patriots, for the third consecutive time, 7-2.
Zach Mahalko (Belle Vernon, Pa.) got his first career start in the contest and went 2 2/3 innings while giving up two hits, four runs (four earned) and five walks. Brandon Weinkauf (Elkhart, Ind.) came in relief of Mahalko to pitch 3 1/3 innings while giving up four hits, three runs (two earned) and striking out three.
Ben Bournay finished with a team high two hits after going 2-for-3 at the plate while Paul Kappaz and Daniel Wawrzusin each went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
For the game, the Saints walked the Patriots six times and left six runners on base despite out hitting Cumberlands 7-6.
"We needed to do a better job of getting ahead in the count," continued Blondell. "Too many times we were pitching in hitters counts. Despite that, we had our chances to knock in runs, but unfortunately couldn't get it done today."
The Saints drop to 5-6 on the season after the loss to Cumberlands and will resume action on Wednesday, March 13th with a double header against Union College beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST. Live video, stats and audio can be found here.