Patrick Wareham and Aidan Hone
Sports Editor, Staff Writer
Last November, the Holy Cross Club Baseball team brought home the 2017 New England Club Baseball Association (NECBA) Championship, capping a perfect 15-0 season with a 5-1 victory against the University of Vermont. While Holy Cross was the second team in the history of the NECBA to post a 12-0 regular season record (Fairfield did it in 2013), the Crusaders were the only team to go on to win the Championship and complete an undefeated season. It was the Crusaders’ third trip to the Championship final (the team came up short in 2005 and 2007). However, this year’s squad was able to capture their first Club Baseball Championship. This year also marked the first time a Massachusetts team made it to the NECBA playoffs since 2013. On Saturday, the squad began their title defense with a strong showing against Three Rivers Community College in a doubleheader, winning 8-2 and 12-2 respectively. Team captain Frank Sommers and Nick Harper dominated on the mound, combining for 14 strikeouts, while the offense took care of business, collecting 18 hits over the two games.
Sommers, named the league’s best pitcher in the fall, and Harper, named to the All-League team, look to pace the Crusaders once again following last season’s commanding showing. The pitching staff as a whole posted a 1.27 ERA in 99 innings with 97 strikeouts in the fall. Not to be outdone, the Crusader offense boasted a .337 team batting average, led by League MVP freshman Connor Pijanowski (.512 BA), freshman infielder Sam DeMaio (.487 BA), sophomore catcher Tom Russell (.500 BA), and senior first baseman JJ Dunn (.400 BA).
The team will next play at Brown tomorrow, followed by a doubleheader at Hanover Park on Sunday as they host Providence.
Led by senior manager Aidan Hone as well as Sommers and junior captain Andrew Corwin, the Holy Cross Club Baseball team looks ready to post yet another perfect season.