Sports Information Director
(South Bend, Ind.) The Saints closed out their five game weekend series on Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader against the visiting Chargers of Ancilla College. Despite solid starting pitching in both games, the Saints struggled defensively in game one picking up three errors early in the game that helped the Chargers get out to an early lead; a lead that the Saints would come up just short in responding too. Starting pitcher Jake Wood (South Haven, Mich.) pitched a complete game shutout in his first start of the season in game two to help pace the Saints to a 6-0 victory over the Chargers, ending their previous five game losing streak. After finishing the series with a split, the Saints improve to 7-15 overall and 1-5 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
"We had a couple more mental lapses that really hurt us early in this game," said head coach Brian Blondell. "I was impressed with the guy's ability to rally in the final inning; unfortunately for us, we came up just short."
Ancilla was first to strike in game one in the top of the third inning where they put together two big hits including a two out double by Evan Muinzer to bring home the game's first two runs.
Holy Cross was able to answer in the bottom of third inning with a run of their own off of two hits and an error by the Chargers.
The struggles for the Saints took place in the top of the fourth when two hits and two defensive errors cost them four runs to extend Ancilla's lead to 6-1.
Starting pitcher Blake Comella (Tucson, Az.) really started to pick up his play after the fourth inning. Over the final three innings, Comella did not give up a hit and only allowed on base runner.
Holy Cross cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth inning after scoring two runs off of two hits. The sixth inning didn't bring much success to either team, so the Saints knew they had to put an impressive rally together if they wanted to get back in the game.
The Saints made a late push for a comeback in the final inning of the game after Dan Wawrzusin (Potomac, MD) and Ben Bournay (Dowagiac, Mich.) each put together back-to-back singles and stolen bases. They were able to score two runs in the inning and have the tying run reach second base. However, that was as far the runner would get as the Saints came up just short to complete comeback, falling 6-5; their fifth consecutive loss.
Blake Comella pitched all seven innings for the Saints while giving up five hits, six runs (two earned) and striking out three. Ben Bournay led the Saints with three hits in four at bats. Trevor Hurley (Sioux Falls, SD) and Giovanni Ayala (Miami, Fla.) each registered two hits.
After coming up just short in game one, the Saints looked to come out with the same intensity they played with in the final inning.
Jake Wood was impressive in his first start of the season after holding the Chargers hitless throughout the first four innings.
In the bottom of the third inning the Saints offense broke through. They put three runs on the scoreboard after getting hits from Blake Correll (Oak Creek, Wisc.), Max Linnville (Boone, NC) and Dan Wawrzusin. Jake Wood made a statement in the top of the fourth shutting down the Chargers in order to maintain the Saints lead.
Ancilla recorded its first hit of the game in the top of the fifth ending.
The Saints added one run in the fourth and two in the fifth to build up a 6-0 lead. Wood only allowed one more hit, in the sixth inning, to close out the game with a Saints victory.
Wood (1-0) finished the game with a line of seven innings pitched, two hits and zero runs to pick up his first win of the season.
The Saints finished with six hits from six different players.
Coach Blondell was relieved to end the current five game losing streak.
"This one felt real good," continued Blondell. "We had a tough stretch over the last few games, so this win really helps boost morale for the team. Now we just need to stay focused and keep taking it one game at a time. If we are able to stick to our game, we can do a lot of good things as was seen in this game."
The Saints will return to the diamond on Tuesday, March 26 as they play host to Glen Oaks Community College at 2:00 p.m. at Coveleski Stadium. They will then resume Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) play on Wednesday with a doubleheader against Illinois Tech.