Casey's Seven RBI Lead Baseball to Split with Holy Cross
April 17, 2011
EASTON, Pa. - Once again, the Lafayette baseball team saw a rally fall just short in game one of a Patriot League doubleheader then used the momentum to claim a convincing game two victory. A controversial play at the plate saw visiting Holy Cross claim the opener, 6-5, and the Leopards took the nightcap by a score of 10-6.
With the split, Lafayette moves to 12-19 overall and 6-4 in the Patriot League. At the midway point in the league slate, the Leopards are now tied atop the standing with both Army and Navy. Lafayette still has four-game series with the Black Knights and the Midshipmen remaining on its schedule. Holy Cross stands at 16-18-1 with a 4-6 Patriot League tally.
Sophomore second baseman Kevin Casey drove in seven runs on the day - including five in game two victory. Casey hit a home run, a triple and double in the twinbill. Junior designated hitter Bobby Fargnoli had five RBI on a team-best four hits. Senior catcher A.J. Miller hit his team-high 10th roundtripper of the season, and junior shortstop Brian Davila went yard for the first time in 2011.
After a two-out bloop single gave the Crusaders a quick 1-0 advantage, Casey's home run - his second of the season - put the Leopards on top by a 2-1 count. Holy Cross tied the score in the fourth and then took the lead in the top of the fifth inning, before Davila's solo homer knotted the score at 3-3.
After Holy Cross struck for three runs in the top of the sixth inning to claim a 6-3 lead, the Leopards answered once again in the bottom of the inning. Senior first baseman Matt Fenster singled with one out, followed by a double off the bat of sophomore third baseman Scott Kelleher to put two runners in scoring position. Fargnoli then just missed tying the game with a roundtripper, but his long triple to the wall in left centerfield did score two runs to cut the margin to 6-5 entering the seventh and final inning.
In the last frame, a two-out single by Miller put the tying run on base. Miller was replaced on the basepaths by sophomore Brad Hopek, as Fenster came to the plate. The 2010 First Team All-Patriot slugger laced a double to right field. As Hopek closed in on third base, the right fielder juggled the ball, causing head coach Joe Kinney to wave Hopek around to the plate. The throw to the dish by Holy Cross first baseman Eric Oxford came in high as Hopek slid head first. The tag came as Hopek reached for the plate and the umpire - after a slight hesitation - punched out the Leopards' baserunner as the Crusaders escaped with a 6-5 win.
Senior right-hander Zach Fritz got the start on the hill in game one. Fritz (2-3) allowed six earned runs on 10 hits in the losing effort. He struck out four batters and did not issue a walk. Junior southpaw Sean McGrath tossed a scoreless seventh inning to facilitate the potential Lafayette comeback.
John Pedrotty started for Holy Cross and allowed nine hits and five earned runs over the first 5.1 innings of action. Pedrotty (6-2) struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk. John Colella, who entered with a one-run lead and the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, got the final five outs to earn his fifth save of the season.
Lafayette jumped on Holy Cross starter Chris Kono in the nightcap. Senior centerfielder Rob Froio tripled to lead off the first inning and scored on a Davila groundout. Miller then singled to start a two-out rally, followed by a base-hit from Fenster. After Kelleher walked to load the bases, Fargnoli singled up the middle to plate a pair of runs. Casey followed with a two-run triple to stake Lafayette to a fast 5- advantage.
Fargnoli would strike for extra bases again in the third inning with an RBI double that plated Miller, and the Leopards' catcher belted a home run to right field in the fifth inning to increase that Lafayette advantage to 7-0.
Holy Cross recorded a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning, but the Leopards responded in the bottom of the seventh frame with three runs - courtesy of a bases-clearing double by Casey. The Crusaders rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning, but the advantage proved too great as the Leopards capped a 10-6 victory.
Junior right-hander Ethan Perro earned the win with 5.2 innings of work. Perro (3-2) scattered five hits and allowed just a pair of unearned runs. He struck out five batters and walked two. Chris Boyce, Ben Meer, Jack Rems and Joe Leo closed out the nightcap.
Kono (0-3) lasted just one inning, allowed five earned runs on six hits and a walk.
The Leopards and Crusaders will meet again tomorrow, closing out the four-game set with a doubleheader from Kamine Stadium beginning at 1 p.m. The action will be broadcast live on LSN All-Access.
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