Sports Information Director
(South Bend, Ind.) A quick start from Purdue North Central was all that was needed to hold off the Saints in Friday's Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup. The Panthers opened up the game with nine unanswered runs to put the Saints in a whole they were unable to come out of. The Saints dropped the series opener 9-3 dropping their season record to 17-25 overall and 9-14 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
"We clearly didn't play our best today," coach Blondell said. "We had untimely errors which PNC was able to capitalize on. If we are able to limit our mistakes I think tomorrow will go much better."
The Panthers got off to a fast start on Friday after scoring all nine of their runs in the first three innings. Their biggest inning came in the bottom of the second where the scored five runs off of five hits and the help of one Holy Cross error.
All three of the Saints errors came in the first three innings where the Panthers scored their runs.
The Saints plated their first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning after Paul Kappaz (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) led off with a lead-off double; his eleventh of the year. After advancing to third base in the ensuing at bat, Kappaz was brought home on a sacrifice fly from Max Linnville (Boone, NC) to give the Saints their first run of the game.
It was in the top of the sixth inning where the Saints had their chance to really cut into the Panthers lead. After loading the bases with one out, the Panthers were able to keep the Saints in check and leave all three runners on base. The Saints left ten runners on base throughout the game.
The Saints added two final runs in the top of ninth inning to make it a 9-3 ball game; however, that was as close as their rally would get as they went on to drop their second consecutive game by a final of 9-3.
Five Saints hitters recorded two hits in the loss. Giovanni Ayala (Miami, Fla.) and Trevor Hurley (Sioux Falls, SD) each went 2-for-4 at the plate; Paul Kappaz and Mike Pizzuto (Sarasota, Fla.) went 2-for-5 and Max Linnville went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Calib Wininger (Kokomo, Ind.) suffered his third loss on the season after pitching two innings and giving up seven hits, seven runs (three earned) and walking three. Austin Kiser-Petrie (Star City, Ind.) pitched two innings out of the pen giving up two runs (zero earned) and Shane Siwek (Woodstock, Ill.) pitched four shutout innings to finish the game.
The Saints will wrap up their three-game series with the Panthers on Saturday, April 20th with a 2:00 p.m. EST doubleheader start at Coveleski Stadium.