Sports Information Director
(Chicago, Ill.) With inclement weather making the field in Joliet, Ill. unplayable, the Holy Cross Saints traveled to Chicago, Ill. on Saturday afternoon to conclude their three-game series with the University of St. Francis (Ill.). Despite an impressive outing from starting pitcher Calib Wininger (Kokomo, Ind.), the Saints were unable to bring any runs home in game one falling to St. Francis 3-0. The Saints started out strong in game two after taking a 3-1 lead through the top of the fifth inning. However, eight errors in the field, paired with a strong fifth and sixth inning from St. Francis, put the game out of reach in the late stages. The Saints fell 10-3 in game two, bringing their season record to 6-14 overall and 1-5 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
"I thought we played solid in the first game," said coach Blondell. "We left too many runners on base, however, which can definitely come back to haunt you."
After going down in order in the top of the first, the Saints saw St. Francis quickly respond with a two run bottom of the first inning. Starting pitcher Calib Wininger, however, settled into his own after the tough first frame and holding the Fighting Saints scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Saints saw their first opportunity to put some runs on the board in the top of the third inning after getting back-to-back singles from Dan Wawrzusin (Potomac, MD) and Blake Correll (Oak Creek, Wisc.) to open up the inning. With runners on first and second with no outs, St. Francis starting pitcher Adam Panayotovich picked off Wawrzusin from second base. The Saints were unable to capitalize off their back-to-back hits and St. Francis came out of the inning unscathed.
Panayotovich was effective for the remainder of the game in keeping the Saints in check as he only allowed the Saints one runner reach third base which came in the top of the sixth inning. He finished with an impressive complete game shutout while only allowing five hits.
Wininger (0-2) suffered the loss on the day, but had an impressive outing himself. He completed all six innings while giving up six hits and three runs.
The Saints left five runners on base in the game.
Freshman starting pitcher Jordan Gard (Mishawaka, Ind.) took the mound in game two for the Saints.
St. Francis, once again, registered the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning after an error by the Saints.
It was in the top of the fifth inning where the Saints where the Saints took their first lead of the series after hits from Giovanni Ayala (Miami, Fla.) and Mike Pizzuto (Sarasota, Fla.). The Saints scored two runs in the inning to build up a 3-1 advantage over St. Francis.
However, it was in the bottom half of the fifth inning when things began to go south. St. Francis was able to knot the score at three after two errors by the Saints. The worst of times happened in the bottom of the sixth inning where St. Francis put together an eight hit and six run inning to blow the score up to 9-3.
Over the course of the final five innings, the Saints recorded six errors for a game total of eight; their largest of the season by a longshot.
St. Francis would add the final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh game to make it a 10-3 Saints loss; their fourth consecutive.
For the second third consecutive ballgame, the starting pitcher for St. Francis pitched the entire game. This game ended with starter Ryne Gill pitching nine innings while giving up ten hits, three runs and striking out eight.
Jordan Gard (2-1) suffered his first defeat of the season after pitching five innings and giving up nine hits, eight runs (five earned) and walking two.
"Too many mental mistakes in the second game," stated Blondell. "We played well for a good half of the game but unfortunately gave it away with silly mistakes. This was probably our sloppiest performance collectively of the year."
The Saints return home on Sunday, March 24 with a nonconference doubleheader against Ancilla College at Coveleski Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled to be tossed noon EST.