WATERBURY >> Holy Cross’ Ben Brown battled through four tough innings, without his best stuff, to pick up the win the Crusaders 15-8 win over the visiting Torrington Red Raiders.
“It wasn’t all there today,” said Brown, a senior. “I just tried to get the ball on the ground and work through it.”
Brown allowed only three runs, one earned, in his four innings of work, scattering three hits along the way.
“He battled, he threw 100 pitches on Thursday, and was back on short rest,” Holy Cross head coach Mike Phelan said.
He also had big support from his team’s bats, which scored 15 runs against three different Red Raider pitchers.
“I feel we’re strong one through nine,” Phelan said. “One most teams John (Peschel) isn’t a nine hitter and (Brendan) Bessette isn’t a seven hitter.”
Bessette, John Ianniello and Peschel, the teams’ seven, eight and nine hitters led the way for the Crusaders, going 6-for-10 combined with five doubles, six RBI and eight runs scored.
“We’ve been working a lot in ‘BP’ to have every batter in the lineup to hit,” said Ianniello, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. “I was able to get pitches I knew I could hit, I’ve been struggling lately and had to get into the right mindset.”
Junior, Josh Rubino got the start for the Red Raiders and couldn’t get into a grove, allowing five runs in his two innings of work, before head coach Pat Richardson brought in Mitch Zagrodnik.
“A little bit of a short lease,” Richardson said of pulling Rubino.
Zagrodnik pitched well giving the Red Raiders four innings out of the bullpen, but his defense behind him didn’t help him out, making four errors and misplaying a couple of fly balls in the outfield, that led to runs.
“We have to play fundamental baseball and have to support our pitchers. Today our problem was in the outfield,” Richardson said. “I thought Mitch pitched well, we have to make plays behind him.”
After trailing 2-0 after the first the Red Raiders tied the game up when Ben Thompson’s hard ground ball went through Peschel’s legs at second, scoring Dom Sabia and John McCarthy.
The Crusaders would then come back and score three runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-2 lead. Torrington would get one back in the top of the third when Sabia knocked in Ben Bonvicini, but the Crusaders would add three more in the bottom of the inning, that’s how it went the whole game.
“That takes the sails out,” Richardson said.
Torrington pushed across three runs in the top of the seventh, two on a base hit by Shane Bierfeldt, but that was it as they dropped their third straight game to open the season.
“We just have to take with the one game at a time approach,” Richardson said.
Torrington travels to Crosby on Wednesday as Holy Cross (3-1) hosts Wilby on the same day.
Holy Cross 15, Torrington 8
(at Holy Cross)
Torrington 021 020 3 — 8 10 5
Holy Cross 233 115 X — 15 15 1
Josh Rubino P, Ben Thompson C, Mitch Zagrodnick (3-6) Jason Vinisko (7); Ben Brown (P) Brenden Bessette (C), Jude Quadrato (.1), Ethen Mester (2.2).
WP: Ben Brown (). LP: Josh Rubino (). 2B: (TO) Ben Bonvacini. (HC) Mike Chiovitti; Andrew Bialoglowy; Chris Anderson; Brendan Bessette (2); John Ianniello (2); Joe Peschel
RBI: Bierfeldt (2), Sabia (2), McCarthy, Rijo (TO); Ben Brown, Joe Peschel (2), Mike Chiovitti, Andrew Bialoglowy, Chris Anderson (2), Dom Mascolo (2), Brendan Bessette, John Ianniello (3) (HC);
Team records: Torrington 0-3; Holy Cross 3-1.