Holy cross

Holy Cross baseball reaches 6th straight NVL Finals

WATERBURY — The Holy Cross High baseball program has become accustomed to ending the NVL portion of its season in the tournament final.

This will happen for the sixth tournament in a row after the third-seeded Crusaders shut out second-seeded Oxford 6-0 on Tuesday night at Municipal Stadium.

Defending NVL champion Holy Cross (15-7) will face number one seeded St. Paul (21-0) winner and fourth seeded Woodland (16-5) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Municipal.

The Falcons and Hawks play tonight at 7 a.m. at the Municipal. Oxford heads to the state tournament with a 15-7 record.

“It feels good to be able to be part of a legacy,” Holy Cross senior receiver Andreas Effes said. “Holy Cross has a great baseball program, they always have, and it feels good to be part of it and go to another NVL championship on Thursday.”

Holy Cross pupils had a good laugh after they nearly got hit by a foul ball hit by an Oxford player while watching the NVL semi-final match on Tuesday at the Municipal Stadium.
Jim Shannon Republican-American

Effes went 4-for-4 with two RBIs to back up another solid effort from junior right-hander Alec Ash. Ash threw 6 [2/3] shutout innings (9 strikeouts, 4 walks, 4 hits), going out when he reached the maximum pitch limit. Logan Brown secured the final for Holy Cross.

“He was extremely efficient. He was ahead of the hitters, which is what you expect from your starter, especially in a game like this and with the lineup they have,” Crusaders coach Matt Smolley said.

Junior Zak Morales’ two-run brace early in the second set gave Holy Cross a 2-0 lead. Morales reached a fielder’s pick in the fourth inning, and the ensuing pitch error tackled Grant Mowad, who ran for Dillon Fernandes (reached on an error). Effes singled to bring home Donovan (inside single) for a 4-0 lead in the fourth.

In the sixth, Morales walked, stole second, and was pushed by Bessette, who reached second on a throwing error. Another single from Effes drove Bessette for a 6-0 lead.

Brando Fletter had two hits for Oxford while Justin Black and Tyler LaRocque each contributed one hit.