Baseball Takes Series From Holy Cross in Dramatic Fashion
April 29, 2007
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette finished off the regular-season portion of the Patriot League baseball slate with a pair of victories over Holy Cross on Sunday at the Class of 1978 Stadium. In game one, Kevin Reese used seven runs to register his sixth victory in a 7-3 decision. In the nightcap, Justin Shepherd drew a bases-loaded walk to complete a two-run rally in the bottom of the 11th for a 7-6 victory.
With the 3-1 series win over Holy Cross (12-22, 8-10), Lafayette improves to 17-3 in Patriot League play and equals the Patriot League record for conference wins in a 20-game season, a mark shared by the 2004 and 2005 Army teams. The Leopards' overall record improves to 28-14 and is the second-most wins ever in a season at Lafayette.
In the opening game, the teams traded three-spots in the first inning. Kyle Lister singled in two runs and Tim Hughes knocked in another to give Holy Cross the early advantage. In the bottom half, RBI-groundouts by Mike Raible and Tom Hayes scored the first two Leopard runs. With a runner on third and two outs, Dave Drechsel came to the plate and laid down a squeeze bunt to tie the game 3-3.
The Leopards seized the lead in the second inning and never looked back. With Chris Luick aboard at first, Raible singled to center, and Luick came around to score when the centerfielder allowed the ball to roll past him.
Lafayette extended its lead to 6-2 in the fourth inning. Raible plated a run with a sac fly and Kevin Leasure knocked in another with a single.
In the sixth, the Leopards loaded the bases and Hayes singled home Lafayette's final run of the game to up the margin to 7-3.
The generous offensive output allowed Kevin Reese to work comfortably in his sixth victory. Reese (6-1) struck out five and allowed three runs on three hits in the seven-inning complete game. Bobby Holmes (1-1) was the loser, working through four innings while surrendering six runs on eight hits.
Lafayette needed ninth-inning heroics to win the nightcap on Saturday, but on Sunday the Leopards had to wait until the 11th inning.
The Maroon & White led 4-1 after the fifth inning and appeared to be in control, but Holy Cross scored a pair of runs in the sixth to slice the Lafayette lead to 4-3. The mini rally chased Lafayette starter Jeremy Atkins (5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 2 K) from the game.
In the seventh inning, Luick blasted his fourth home run of the season to pad Lafayette's lead to 5-3. That lead lasted until the top of the ninth when Holy Cross literally donned its rally caps in the dugout. A one-out walk by reliever Brad Woodfield and a subsequent home run from Brendan Akashian knotted the game 5-5.
The Leopards came within feet of winning the game in the bottom of the ninth. With runners on first and second and two outs, pinch hitter Leasure looped a single to left. Luick, who was at second to start the play, rounded third for home but was cut down at the plate.
Holy Cross used the long ball in the 11th inning to take a 6-5 lead. Norm Roth hit his third of the season off reliever Brian Cope.
As they have all season under head coach Joe Kinney, the Leopards manufactured the tying run in the 11th. Pinch hitter Brad Weiss led off with a single, and A.J. Pisarri bunted over pinch runner Ryan Roberts. A groundout moved him to third with two outs and Luick at the plate. Luick laid down the squeeze and scored Roberts to tie the game.
The Leopards were not done. Two walks later (one intentional) and the bases were loaded for Shepherd. He faced Tim Thran who came out of the bullpen in relief of Matt Blake. Thran threw four straight balls to Shepherd and the Leopards walked away with a 7-6 win.
Cope (4-1) collected the win, allowing one run on one hit in two innings. Blake (2 R, 3 H, 2 IP) took the loss.
Lafayette returns to action on Tuesday at Temple at 3:30 p.m.
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