WORCESTER, Massachusetts – The Marist baseball team capped off its 2017 non-conference schedule with a 6-2 win at the Holy Cross Crusaders on Wednesday evening. With the victory, the Red Foxes finish with a 13-13 record outside of the conference, the first best since 2012 when the team went 14-13 in non-conference play.
Redshirt senior Matt Pagano led Marist offensively, finishing with three hits two runs scored and one RBI, while sophomore Anthony Lazar had two hits, one run scored and one RBI. Freshman Matt Rubayo finished with a triple, his first career extra base hit, a run scored and one RBI, redshirt junior Greg Kocinski had two hits and one run scored and junior Andrew Rouse finished with one hit and one run scored. Sophomores Randy Taveras and Frankie Gregoire each had one hit.
On the mound, freshman Connor McNamara had his best performance of his career and picked up his fourth win, throwing five innings while giving up no runs on just one hit with no walks and two strikeouts. McNamara carried a perfect game into the fifth before a hit by pitch broke it up with one out and a single ended the no hitter one batter later. Junior Mike Coss pitched one and one third innings and gave up one run on one hit with one strikeout, freshman Austin Phillips pitched one third of an inning and surrendered one run on two hits and senior John Parisi pitched one inning and gave up no runs on no hits with three strikeouts. Senior Ryan Thomas threw two thirds of an inning and surrendered no runs on no hits with one strikeout and junior Tony Romanelli pitched two thirds of an inning and gave up no runs on no hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Red Foxes opened the scoring in the top of the first inning when Lazar and Rouse led off with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Lazar stole third, Rouse stole second and Kocinski walked to load the bases. Kirkpatrick followed with an RBI walk and Pagano hit a sac fly to second that scored Rouse before a thrown by the second baseman got away that allowed Kocinski to score and Marist was ahead 3-0.
Four innings later, the Red Foxes added to their lead when Pagano doubled to right center and scored on a throwing error by the shortstop to extend the lead to 4-0.
Through the first four innings, McNamara was unhittable as he retired the side in order each time to carry a perfect game into the fifth. However, with one out in the bottom of the fifth, a hit by pitch ended the perfect game and one batter later, a single ended the no hitter. McNamara retired the side without surrendering a run to cap off his best performance of his career for Marist.
In the top of the sixth a Pagano single followed by a stolen base two batters later gave the Red Foxes a man on second with one out. After a foul out, Pagano advanced to third on a wild pitch and Rubayo ripped an RBI triple, the first extra base hit of his career, that scored Pagano and Lazar followed with an RBI double to give Marist the 6-0 lead.
The Crusaders got on the board in the bottom of the inning on an Austin Masel leadoff single who then advanced to second and third on back-to-back walks that were sandwiched around a Red Fox pitching change with Phillips replacing Coss on the mound. Thomas Russo laced an RBI single to center that scored Masel and advanced to second on a wild pitch during the next at bat. Cam O'Neill followed with an RBI double to left center, scoring Masel and the score was 6-2 in favor of the visitors.
Holy Cross came to bat for its last time in the bottom of the ninth and Thomas struck out the leadoff batter. Romanelli replaced Thomas on the hill and after back-to-back walks, struck out the final two batters swinging and looking to give Marist the 6-2 victory.
Up next, the Red Foxes return to McCann Field for a home MAAC series vs the Rider Broncs (17-22-1, 9-9 MAAC). The two teams will play a nine and seven inning DH on Sat (12 PM) and a single nine inning game on Sunday (12 PM). Currently the Red Foxes' 10-5 MAAC record puts them in 2nd place in the conference standings and the Broncs 9-9 conference record puts them in 7th place in the MAAC. The top six teams in the conference at the end of the season will qualify for the MAAC Championships which will be held in Niagara Falls, NY on Wed, May 24th-Sat May 27th at Niagara University's Sal Maglie Stadium.