JACKSONVILLE, Ill. - After opening the 2012 season with a 1-3 mark at William Woods University last weekend, the Ashford University baseball team looked to rebound with a four-game neutral site series against Holy Cross College (IN) on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25-26. The Saints rebounded nicely; winning three of the four contests, and saw a no-hitter by sophomore hurler Pat Macaione.
Caracas, Venezuela junior Damil Reyes totaled up a nine-of-13 effort inside the batters' box over the weekend for the Saints. The junior smashed four doubles and a home run which drove in seven runs while scoring ten runs of his own.
Clean up hitter Gary Mayberry knocked out six hits in his ten appearances at the plate. The Darien, Ill.-native posted a pair of home runs to go along with a double which aided in racking up seven runs for AU.
Mike Johnson and R.J. Roberts each notched five hits throughout the four games.
Game One: Ashford 10 - Holy Cross 4
The Ashford pitching staff opened the set with a five-hit performance which saw Holy Cross score just one earned run as the Saints coasted to a 10-4 victory.
Holy Cross scratched across a pair of runs in the top of the second before Ashford plated four in their half of the inning.
Johnson doubled to lead off the inning and was brought home just two batters later with Roberts singling to cut the HCC lead in half, 2-1. After a stolen base and a walk to Michael Caravia, Reyes blasted a ball over the outfield fence to double up the visitors, 4-2.
Reyes scored a lone run in the fifth before the Saints exploded with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to close the proverbial book on Holy Cross in game one. Roberts tallied a RBI-single as the third batter in the sixth inning before the Saints struck on a wild pitch and a Caravia single. From there, AU got a double from Reyes and took advantage of back-to-back RBI singles from Mayberry and Rafael Ordaz to close the scoring for Ashford.
Holy Cross tallied a pair in the top of the seventh to make the final count 10-4.
Starting pitcher Jimmy Six struck out seven in six innings of work. The Marshalltown, Iowa-native walked one while allowing three hits and two earned runs.
Game Two: Ashford 12 - Holy Cross 4
Ashford managed 12 runs on just seven hits in game two as the squad completed the day one sweep of Holy Cross, 12-4.
Walks and wild pitches came back to haunt the visitors in the top of the first inning with AU scoring two runs with no hits. Reyes and Mayberry each walked to get on base in their respective at bats before each advanced a base on a wild pitch. Reyes then scored on a wild pitch before Mayberry crossed the plate when senior catch Cam Puetz grounded into a fielder's choice to give Ashford a 2-0 lead.
The Saints doubled their score over the next two innings with a run in each, but Holy Cross scored two in the top half of the third and trailed 4-2 entering their half of the fourth.
Holy Cross would manage the games' only two hits until Ashford used a big inning in the bottom of the sixth to seal victory. The Saints scored eight runs on four hits to win going away, 12-4. Two RBI-singles from Reyes, Puetz and Tomas Chardon scored six of the eight runs while second baseman Eric Nunez tallied the seventh run batted in and Chardon scored on a wild pitch.
Kewanee, Ill-native Ryan Bumphrey scattered six hits over six inning of work. The junior struck out six batters while walking just one.
Game Three: Ashford 17 - Holy Cross 0
The first half of Sunday's doubleheader was dominated by the home team, but the real storyline was sealed in the late stages of the contest.
Starting pitcher Pat Macaione walked the only two Holy Cross base runners to complete a seven-inning no-hitter and give AU a 17-0 win. The sophomore southpaw fanned nine batters and got some help with impressive defense en route to the lop-sided victory.
Reyes made a terrific play in the field to start a one-out double play in the sixth before Johnson saved the no-hitter with a diving catch in right field to end the top half of the seventh.
The Saints plated a run in the first before posting a nine-spot on the scoreboard in the third to lead 10-0. From there, AU plated another seven runs in the sixth to coast to its largest margin of victory since Mar 19, 2005 when the team blasted Mid-Continent University, 17-4.
Caravia and Mayberry each drove in three runners while Roberts and Reyes each scored three runs.
Game Four: Holy Cross 10 - Ashford 7
Following the huge win in game one of Sunday's doubleheader, the Saints struggled to match the offensive output set forth by Holy Cross as the visitors came from behind to win, 10-7.
AU held a 4-1 advantage heading into the top of the third inning, but HCC plated four in their half of the third and three more in the fourth to take a commanding 8-4 lead halfway through the contest. The Saints struck for a run in the fifth but would fail to pull any closer as two runs in the seventh matched the pair of Holy Cross runs scored in the top of the inning.
Reyes and Mayberry each went three-of-four at the dish in game two of the doubleheader. Mayberry drove in three runs and crossed the plate on three occasions as well.
Senior thrower Tim Elias was saddled with the loss after tossing three hits of eight hit ball.
The weekend results improves AU to 4-4 overall to open the 2012 season.
The Saints visit Florida on March 3 for an action-packed week. Ashford will compete in 12 games throughout the week and get things started with a doubleheader against the University of St. Francis. First pitch on Saturday is slated for 1 p.m. central time.