Sports Information Director
(South Bend, Ind.) Holy Cross senior Dan Wawrzusin (Potomac, MD) closed out his Saints career on Tuesday afternoon with three hits in nine at-bats to help the Saints split their 2013 series finale with the Kalamazoo College Hornets. Prior to the start of the doubleheader, Wawrzusin was recognized in front of the fans at Coveleski Stadium for his accomplishments as a three-year starter for the Saints baseball program. With offense and pitching clicking on all cylinders in game one, the Saints picked up a 13-2 victory over the Hornets and ended their previous nine game losing streak. A fast start from Kalamazoo in game two, however, was too much for the Saints to come back from as they fell 15-10 to split the doubleheader. The Saints finish the 2013 season with a record of 18-33.
"It was great to get a win for Dan on senior day," stated coach Blondell. "He's been a tremendous leader for our program this year and an absolute pleasure to coach. It's hard to replace guys like Dan Wawrzusin."
Kalamazoo opened up the scoring in game one with a two out rally in the top of the first inning to score the first run of the game. A two-hit effort, with the help of an error, by the Saints in the bottom half of the inning had the Saints tie it up at 1-1.
The offense continued for the Saints in the bottom of the second inning after two-run triple from Giovanni Ayala (Miami, Fla.) gave the Saints their first lead of the afternoon at 3-1. Kalamazoo added a run to make it a 3-2 game in the top of the third; however, that was all the offense the Hornets would manage the remainder of the game.
The Saints scored ten runs in their final three innings at the plate, with their biggest inning coming in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the inning, the Saints had five hits, none bigger than the two-run home run from sophomore Paul Kappaz (Grosse Pointe, Mich.). The homer for Kappaz was his first of the season and second of his career.
Freshman starting pitcher Jordan Gard (Mishawaka, Ind.) pitched a complete game en route to picking up his fifth win of the season. Gard improved to 5-5 with the win against the Hornets.
Seven Saints hitters picked up at least two hits. Paul Kappaz led the way with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate with a home run and five runs batted in. Senior Dan Wawrzusin went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. The Saints defeated the Hornets 13-2 in game one, ending their nine game losing streak.
Kalamazoo was once again first to strike in game two of the series after scoring four runs on five straight hits with two outs in the bottom of the first.
The Saints responded in the bottom of the second inning with three runs to cut the Hornets lead to 4-3, and eventually tied the game at four in the bottom of the third after an RBI single from Max Linnville (Boone, NC).
Kalamazoo, however, responded with a five-run top of the fourth inning, led by a three-run triple by third basemen Brett Thomas.
After the Saints failed to respond in the bottom of the fourth, the Hornets added two more runs in the top of the fifth to open up an 11-4 advantage.
The Hornets scored eleven runs in the final four innings which the Saints were unable to match. Giovanni Ayala laced a bases clearing double to left field to cut the Hornets lead to 15-10 in the bottom of the seventh inning, but that was as close as the Saints would get.
Despite outhitting the Hornets 15-14, a couple of Saints errors proved costly.
Dan Wawrzusin closed out his playing career at Holy Cross College with a late substitution from coach Brian Blondell to give him one last jog off the field to the embracement of his teammates. Wawrzusin finished game two 1-for-4 at the plate.
"Although we would have liked to pick up the sweep today, I was proud with how our guys battled down the stretch of the season," continued Blondell. "Despite hitting a rough patch with a number of losses, the guys always came to work. They were a great group and I believe the future is very bright with this team."
The Saints end the season with a new program best in wins at eighteen.
On behalf of Holy Cross Athletics, we'd like to congratulate the Saints baseball team for a successful 2013 season! You've all made your peers at the College extremely proud.
Until next season, make sure to stay tuned to hcsaints.com for all of your Holy Cross Athletics news. Enjoy the off-season, and we will see you all next spring!