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Pitchers struggle in two losses

With four huge games coming up this weekend against division rival Dartmouth, the baseball team is slumping. After dropping their last two games against Harvard on Monday afternoon, the Bears (11-24) came home and lost both ends of their doubleheader against the Holy Cross Crusaders (19-16).

Head Coach Marek Drabinski summed up the losses bluntly: "We just did not pitch today." Holy Cross dominated the Bruno pitching staff from start to finish, and the Crusaders won the first game, 8-5, and the second, 18-11.

Holy Cross 8, Brown 5
Holy Cross jumped ahead in the early innings, scoring seven runs in the first three frames. The Crusaders took advantage of Matt Boylan's '10 slow start. He gave up a single and two walks to the first four batters he faced, and all three runners came around to score.

In the third inning, Heath Mayo '13 replaced Boylan on the mound with runners on first and third, but was unable to shut the door. Holy Cross catcher Steven Tkowski hit a two-run double, and the next batter, Nick Ciardiello, slammed a two-run home run to left field.

Despite the seven-run deficit, the Bruno batters almost made a comeback. The bats finally came alive in the bottom of the seventh inning. Down 8-1 with three outs to go, Nick Punal '10 led off the inning with a double. Graham Tyler '12 drove Punal in with an RBI double. Later in the frame, Matt Colantonio '11 connected on a three-run home run to bring the Bears within three, 8-5.

"We saw what the offense can do," Drabinski said.

But after the Crusaders replaced Vaughn Hayward, their tiring pitcher, the Bears could not get any more runs on the board, falling short of a dramatic last-inning comeback.

Holy Cross 18, Brown 11
The Bruno pitching staff struggled all seven innings of the second game. Holy Cross scored in every inning, and seven different pitchers were forced to step on the mound for the Bears.

Brown enjoyed a brief lead in the first inning, going up 2-1 after an RBI double from Mike DiBiase '12 and an RBI single from Ryan Zrenda '11. But the Crusaders took the lead right back in the next inning, after outfielder Patrick Puentes tripled, bringing home Ciardiello and scoring himself on an error by Chris Tanabe '10.

The Bears did put together a big inning, scoring six runs in the sixth. Pete Greskoff's '11 grand slam was the highlight of the frame, as his shot to left field brought the Bears within three, 14-11.

But the Bruno pitchers could not keep the team close, as Holy Cross scored four runs in the top of the seventh. Crusader third baseman Matt Perry hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the inning, capping his 5-for-5 day.

"Every time we came back and scored, (Holy Cross) came right back," Drabinski said. "We battled back, but they answered. You're not going to win many games doing that."

The Bears went quietly in the bottom of the inning, wrapping up their fourth consecutive loss. If they want to stay in contention for the Ivy League title, they will have to get out of their funk quickly, and Drabinski knows that begins with the beleaguered pitching staff.

"The guys who aren't pitching well just won't be pitching in-conference."



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