PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Riding back-to-back wins, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team struggled with men on base on Wednesday and fell 5-3 to Holy Cross. The game give the Crusaders a split of the quick, two-game set.
ROUGH START: Holy Cross took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, thanks in part to some tough luck. After the first man reached on a walk, a well hit double from Josh Hassell allowed Nick Lovullo to hustle to third. On the play, the throw from right field hit Hassell in the leg and skittered away allowing Hassell to score. After a pair of strikeouts, Thomas Russo drove in Hassell from second to make it 2-0.
ANSWERING THE CALL: Penn didn't let the early deficit get them down as the Quakers scored two of their own in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. Sean Phelan put the first run on the board with a double to deep right-center field, scoring Matt Greskoff. Phelan moved to third on a single from Tim Graul and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Matt O'Neill.
LEAD OFF LONG FOR THE CRUSADERS:In the third, Holy Cross retook the lead on a leadoff home run from Josh Hassell to make it 3-2. Hassell took a pitch over the left field fence and into the parking lot for his second round-tripper of the season.
QUAKERS STRIKE BACK AGAIN: Trailing by a run in the fourth, Penn again tied the game, this time thanks to an RBI single from Greskoff. Greskoff ripped a ball into right field and allowed Chris Rabasco to hustle home to make it 3-3.
SMALL BALL LIFTS CRUSADERS: In the fifth, it was small ball that led to the Crusaders final two runs that ultimately decided the game. After a single and a hit by a pitch put runners on first and second, Hassell laid down a bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Anthony Critelli notched a single to bring one run home before Alex Voitik dropped a squeeze bunt to score the second and give Holy Cross a 5-3 lead.
QUAKER NOTES: Sean Phelan went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored... In his second game behind the plate, Tim Graul went 3-for-5...After outhitting Holy Cross significantly on Tuesday, Penn was even, 9-9 in the hit column on Wednesday... The Quakers left 12 men on base, including six in scoring position... Penn put the tying run on base in both the eighth and ninth innings.
UP NEXT: Penn will take Thursday off before starting a three-game set with Georgetown on Friday in Port St. Lucie.