Holy Cross baseball wins trio of close games against Copper Division foes

The Holy Cross baseball team is no stranger to close games.

The Crusaders had three of them last week, and won them all. Holy Cross knocked off St. Paul on back-to-back days, April 29 and 30, by slim margins of 2-0 and 2-1. The Crusaders got a reprieve on May 1 when it blew out Wilby, 11-1, but they were immediately back in a tight game on May 3. Holy Cross downed Wolcott, 1-0, at Alumni Field to finish a 4-0 week. The wins against St. Paul and Wolcott all counted toward the Naugatuck Valley League Copper Division standings.

As you can tell by the final scores, pitching was a huge key for the Crusaders. Junior southpaw Aiden Bisaillon threw a complete game in the first win over St. Paul, then junior right-hander Ryan Makowski followed with seven innings of one-run ball in a no-decision in the second victory against the Falcons. Fellow junior right-hander Carsten Donovan tossed a complete game in the win over Wolcott.

Of course, the Crusaders don’t win those three close games without some clutch offense. Donovan’s single in the first St. Paul game gave Bisaillon a 2-0 lead to work with. The Crusaders walked off on the Falcons in the second meeting on Garrett Mowad’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning. Against Wolcott, Wall drove home the winning pitcher Donovan in the bottom of the seventh inning for the second walk-off victory in three games.

In the only lopsided game of Holy Cross’ week, Donovan, Wall and Drew Caouette had multiple hits and RBIs to back freshman Cam DiGiacomo, who was the winning pitcher (4 innings, 2 hits, 4 strikeouts).

Holy Cross is now 4-2 in games decided by two runs or less. The Crusaders lost their season opener, 3-1, at Woodland on March 30. Holy Cross walked off against Oxford, 4-3, on April 17. Alex Teixeira gave Naugy a 3-2 walk-off win over the Crusaders on April 22. After being involved in three games decided by two runs or less in their first 11 contests, Holy Cross played three of them in a four-game span in a single week.

The Crusaders continued their winning ways Monday, knocking off Kennedy, 10-2, in a game moved to Waterville Park’s Greatorex Field from Alumni Field. Holy Cross improved to 13-3 on the season behind 6 ⅓ innings of relief from Justin Digiovanna (0 hits, 6 strikeouts). Makowski, Caouette, Donovan and Tommy Okesson paced the Crusader offense.

Caption: Holy Cross baseball head coach Matt Smolley, left, got strong pitching from Ryan Makowski, right, and others on the way to three wins by two runs or less over NVL Copper Division foes.