April 28, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. -
The 30th-ranked Army baseball team split a doubleheader with Holy Cross on a sun-drenched and wind-swept Saturday afternoon at Fitton Field.
Cody Murtle and Harold Earls combined to go 3-for-5 with four runs scored to lead Army to a 4-2 victory in the opener. Holy Cross rebounded in the nightcap, scoring three unearned runs in the eighth inning to take a 6-3 decision.
Holy Cross (27-19, 11-6) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opening game on Stephen Wadsworth's two-run single. Mike Ahmed lined a base hit to left field leading off the inning and Alex Maldonado walked to put runners on first and second. Patrick Puentes then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position and Wadsworth followed by smacking a base hit to left field.
After leaving the bases loaded each of the first two innings, Army rallied to tie the score at 2-all in the top of the third as the Black Knights scored two runs on one hit and one costly Holy Cross error. Murtle was hit by a pitch with one out to ignite the rally. He stole second base, moved to third on Earls' base hit and scored on a wild pitch. Earls, who moved to second on the wild pitch, scored when Matthew Carter reached on an error by the shortstop.
After three scoreless innings, Army pushed across two runs on three hits in the top of the seventh inning to move in front, 4-2. Murtle hammered a leadoff single to begin the uprising. He moved to second base on a balk, advanced to third on Earls' single and scored the go-ahead run when Carter grounded a base hit through the right side of the infield. Alex Jensen was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Daniel Cortes walked to force home the Black Knights' second run of the frame.
Chris Rowley (10-0) finished off his sixth complete game of the season by tossing a perfect seventh inning. Rowley retired the last eight hitters he faced and 12 of the last 13 batters. The junior right-hander allowed just one hit after the first inning. He walked three and matched his career high with 10 strikeouts.
Holy Cross reliever Collin Manning (1-2) took the loss for the Crusaders after allowing one run on one hit over 1.2 innings of work.
Ahmed, Wadsworth and Josh Olson registered one hit apiece to pace Holy Cross' three-hit attack.
Army jumped on top of Holy Cross, 1-0, in the second inning of the nightcap on Earls' RBI double. Mark McCants singled leading off the frame, moved to second base on Murtle's sacrifice bunt and scored easily when Earls slashed a two-base hit down the left field line.
Holy Cross tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth on Steven Tkowski's RBI single. Chris Sintetos singled with one out, moved to third base on a wild pitch and scored when Tkowski lined a base through the drawn in infield.
Army regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning, scoring one run on two hits to move in front, 2-1. Carter singled with one out, advanced to second base on Jensen's groundout and scored when Zach Price lofted a base hit into the gap in left center field.
Holy Cross came back to knot the score at 2-all in the home half of the fifth as Ahmed crushed his sixth home run of the season over the fence in left center field.
The Black Knights pushed across an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Kevin McKague doubled to deep left field leading off the frame, moved to third base on McCants' fly out to center field and scored when Earls reached on a throwing error by Holy Cross second baseman Andrew Barry.
Holy Cross rallied again in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score at 3-3. Wadsworth reached on an infield single leading off the inning, moved to second base when Tkowski was hit by a pitch, advanced to third when Brandon Cipolla walked and scored on Barry's sacrifice fly.
After stranding the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Holy Cross plated three unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth to move in front, 6-3. Pinch-hitter Jordan Enos' two-out RBI single gave the Crusaders a 4-3 edge, and Wadsworth's run-scoring base hit made it 5-3. HC scored its third run of the inning on a wild pitch.
Ahmed (2-1) picked up the win for Holy Cross after pitching the top of the eighth. John Colella got Cortes to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to earn his 10th save of the season.
Maldonado went 3-for-5 to lead the Crusaders at the plate. Wadsworth collected two hits of Holy Cross' 10 base hits in the contest.
Ken Jackson (2-1) suffered the loss for Army after allowing Holy Cross' eighth-inning rally.
Price finished 3-for-4 to pace the Black Knights offensively in the nightcap. Carter went 2-for-4 to help spark Army's eight-hit attack.
Army and Holy Cross will close out their four-game series on Sunday, April 29, with another doubleheader scheduled for 12 p.m.
Game Notes: Army moves to 62-28-2 all-time versus Holy Cross ... the Black Knights wore their traditional gray road uniforms with black caps for both games of today's doubleheader ... Army's 17 league victories tie the Academy mark for Patriot League wins ... Chris Rowley's Academy-record scoreless innings streak was halted at 29 after allowing two runs in the top of the first inning in the opener ... Rowley's school-record streak of four straight shutouts also came to an end ... Rowley tied the Academy single-season record with his 10th victory of the year ... Rowley also struck out 10 batters in his start at UMBC on March 3 ... Kevin McKague's double in the nightcap moved him into sole possession of first place on Army's career doubles list (52).