(South Bend, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints baseball team returned to South Bend on Monday evening after their weeklong trek around Kentucky to open up Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action against the Trolls of Trinity Christian College. Despite numerous comeback attempts by the Saints, they were unable to ever take the lead against the Trolls and dropped their CCAC opener by a final score of 7-5. The loss for the Saints, their seventh straight, brings them to 5-10 overall and 0-1 in CCAC play
"We struggled to get the leadoff guy out early in the game and I think that really affected us," coach Blondell stated. "There were just too many small detailed mistakes by us early in the game that hurt us."
The Saints saw the Trolls pull off triples in both the first and second inning that really put starting pitcher Jordan Gard (Mishawaka, Ind.) in a difficult spot to start the game.
After giving up an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, the Saints got some production going in the top of the second after a leadoff single by Daniel Wawrzusin (Potomac, MD). Wawrzusin was then moved to second base on a sacrifice by Mike Tarala (Schererville, Ind.) and then to third after advancing on the fly ball to right field by Blake Correll (Oak Creek, Wisc.). Freshman Max Linnville (Boone, NC) capped off the productive inning with an RBI single up the middle to tie it at 1-1.
Trinity Christian, however, proved to be equally as productive early in the game after scoring runs in each of the first four innings.
Trailing 5-2 as they entered the top of the sixth inning, the Saints put together an impressive three-run inning after some key hits and patient at bats. Max Linnville capped the inning off with a double to right center that brought in two runs and tied the game at 5-5. Linnville finished the game with three RBI's.
The Saints were able to hold the Trolls scoreless in the bottom of the sixth to keep things knotted at five apiece, but a big two out double by Trinity Christian's Bill Miller brought in two runs to break the tie and make it a 7-5 game.
Holy Cross had their opportunities in the eighth and ninth inning after registering two hits and leaving four runners on base. However, they were unable to produce the tying run and dropped their conference opener to the Trolls.
The Saints had ten runners left on base in the game.
"Despite giving up those early runs the guys showed a lot of determination," continued coach Blondell. "I didn't think Gard hard his best stuff today (6.0 IP, 5ER), but he competed and gave us a chance despite giving up some early runs. It's tough to lose games like this, but the good thing about baseball is we have two more games tomorrow to redeem ourselves."
Ben Bournay (Dowagiac, Mich.) continued his hot hitting at the plate after getting a single to right center in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to fourteen games. Bournay finished 1-for-4 at the plate with a run scored. Max Linnville and Michael Pizzuto (Sarasota, Fla.) each led the Saints with two hits apiece.
The Saints will return to action on Saturday afternoon against the Trolls with a 2:00 p.m. EST double header start at Coveleski Stadium.