Ruck Powers Lafayette to Comeback Victory
April 6, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Trailing 7-6 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, Lafayette erased Holy Cross' lead for the third time in the game and eventually came away with an 8-7 victory in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader. Lafayette dropped game one by a 3-0 final.
Andrew Landolfi tied the game with a solo shot to left, before a walk to Kevin Casey put a man on with nobody out. Andrew Ruck laced a double into right field for his third RBI of the afternoon to bring home the winning run. After loading the bases with two outs, Mitch Leeds finished off the Crusaders by getting Alex Maldonado to pop out on a 3-2 pitch to Brad Hopek along the fence in foul territory on the first base line.
Leeds (1-0) earned the first win of his collegiate career, tossing three innings of one-run ball, while allowing two hits. He struck out three batters and walked three others.
Holy Cross (12-16, 4-2) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with a run in its first at bat, and two in the second inning off Leopards' starter Toby Schwartz. The Leopards (6-23, 3-3) got two of the runs back in the home half of the second when they loaded the bases with one away for Landolfi. The freshman shortstop sent a ball back through the box that took a hop over Alex Maldonado's head at shortstop and found its way into the outfield to score two runs. With runners on the corners, Andrew Santomauro popped up a bunt attempt to Holy Cross right-handed pitcher Nate Walker, who doubled-off Hopek at third base.
A pair of unearned runs in the top of the third prematurely ended Schwartz's afternoon on the mound after 2.2 innings. The lefty gave up five runs on five hits and walked one Holy Cross batter, before Corey Spera came out of the bullpen to finish the third inning.
Back-to-back doubles back Thomas Dunleavy and Scott Kelleher trimmed the deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the third, after Ruck led off the frame with a single. The Crusaders came back and put two on with one out their next time to the dish, before Lafayette handed the ball to Ari Kaufman. After a 4-3 groundout moved the runners to second and third, Kaufman escaped the jam without any damage after Jordan Enos grounded out to shortstop.
The bottom of the fifth saw the Maroon and White crawl back into the contest and tie the game at 5-5 on Ruck's run-scoring single up the middle. The senior left fielder was thrown out trying to advance to second on the throw, prior to Casey drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch to put runners on the corners. The free pass to Casey brought Andrew Boyce into a two-out situation, but he kept the game tied when Campbell Lipe grounded out to third base.
Kaufman struck out Patrick Puentes to start the fifth, but Stephen Wadsworth drilled the first pitch he saw over the fence in left center to regain the lead for Holy Cross.
After three outs by Boyce and a 1-2-3 inning by Kaufman, Lafayette once again tied the score with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Ruck delivered his second RBI with a single to center, scoring Landolfi, who reached with a base knock of his own. Boyce then clamped down on Lipe and struck him out swinging to strand runners on first and second.
Another solo homer gave Holy Cross the lead at 7-6, when Brandon Cipolla sent Leeds' offering out to left-center field. Leeds held the Crusaders to just one hit in the frame, working around an error and a walk to leave two men on base.
Lafayette and Holy Cross play a doubleheader tomorrow at Kamine Stadium. First pitch is set for Noon and the games can be seen live on GoLeopards.com/allaccess