The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Baseball prevails in Holy Cross series, beats St. Peter’s

Freshman outfielder Teddy Cashman makes contact with a pitch. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

The baseball team (14-28 overall, 8-10 Patriot League) continued its string of strong performances this past weekend against the College of the Holy Cross (19-23 overall, 9-9 Patriot League), taking the first two games on Saturday but dropping its Senior Day game on Sunday. The team also beat out-of-conference opponent St. Peter’s University (10-32 overall) on Wednesday.

This series followed a big win against Lehigh University last Wednesday that could help Lafayette in playoff seedings.

“The Lehigh win was huge,” junior outfielder Easton Brenner said. “It was extremely important going down the road with a lead over a team that could be in the runnings for a playoff spot.”

The first game of the doubleheader on Saturday started out hot for the Leopards as sophomore catcher Ethan Swidler used his speed to steal second and then score on a dropped third strike to put Lafayette up 1-0 in the first.

Junior corner infielder Michael Zarrillo added to the tally in the fourth after advancing off a Brenner sacrifice bunt and an RBI single from freshman outfielder Teddy Cashman, making it 2-0 Leopards.

An RBI single from Swidler made the final score 3-0.

Starting pitcher junior Joe Skapinetz gave a defensive masterclass as he allowed no runs on only three hits and struck out five over 6.1 innings. Senior Joey Pence earned his first save of the season.

The beginning of the second game was rocky for Lafayette as the Crusaders quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead off a two-run home run in the top of the second.

However, the Leopards did not stay quiet, scoring two in the bottom of the third inning off an RBI single from Zarillo and an RBI bunt single from Brenner to tie the game at 2-2. Later in the inning, junior infielder Ben Petrone smoked a three-run home run over the right field fence to give the Leopards the edge at 5-2.

The Crusaders responded with three runs of their own over the fifth and sixth innings, tying the game at five heading into the bottom of the sixth.

The Leopards opened the floodgates in the sixth as Swindler blasted a two-run homer followed by a Zarillo solo bomb to put Lafayette up 8-5.

More action came in the bottom of the eighth when Zarillo notched his fourth hit of the game with an RBI double that scored senior infielder Blaze Fadio. Petrone hit his second home run of the game with a two-run blast that made the final score 11-5. This was Petrone’s eighth home run of the year.

“We were fired up,” Brenner said. “We knew what team they were, and we never lost belief. Throughout the dugout, there was good, positive energy and a feeling that we would not lose this game.”

Holy Cross got off to a hot start on Sunday, scoring four runs in the first three innings and making it a 4-0 game heading into the fifth. The Leopards tallied one run in the fifth as Ethan Swidler drove in freshman infielder Matt Colella on an RBI groundout. 

Things seemed to fall apart in the sixth inning as Lafayette let up six runs to enter the bottom of the inning down 10-1.

However, the Leopards found their offensive form in the sixth, scoring seven runs. The rally began with a Cashman sac fly and ended with a three-run shot from Swidler that brought Lafayette within two.

In the seventh, senior catcher Michael Mallas drove in a run with a single that brought the Maroon and White within one.

However, Holy Cross closed the game out by adding two more runs in the ninth, winning 12-9.

“It didn’t turn out how we wanted it to, but we showed a good fight and that we could play with anyone regardless of the score,” Brenner said. “You want the seniors to win on their day and that’s the reason we fought back so hard.”

On Wednesday, the Leopards faced St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey for a midweek clash that went to extra innings. Lafayette won by a score of 7-6.

The Leopards got started on the right foot, scoring four runs through the first two innings. However, the team only scored two runs during the rest of regulation time, while the home team notched three runs in the fifth inning alone.

The seventh, eighth and ninth innings saw the two sides deadlocked at 6-6. It took until the eleventh for the Maroon and White to score again, with Swidler crossing the plate off of a single to left field by Fadio.

This was Lafayette’s fifth away win this season. The team has lost 19 games on the road, however.

Lafayette travels to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on Friday to play Bucknell University (18-22 overall, 9-13 Patriot League) in a crucial conference fixture. The team will stay there through Sunday to play three games.

Four members of the baseball team did not respond to request for comment.

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