On April 24, Holy Cross did what just about every Queens team seems poised to do in the Brooklyn-Queens division of the Catholic baseball league: They lost to Xaverian.
The neighbors to the south have dominated much of the CHSAA in recent years, and on Friday, they dominated the Knights by the score of 6-2. Holy Cross starting pitcher Justin Tableman faltered against a menacing lineup, giving up a two-run double to Hussan Evans and ultimately four runs in the second inning.
“We’ve pitched well in most of our games,” said Holy Cross head coach Doug Manfredonia. “But against Xaverian our starting pitcher lost control in the second inning. We have some depth in our pitching staff. We need to get more innings in.”
Xaverian starter Anthony Hajjar, meanwhile, was largely unfazed against the Knights, despite big hits by Kevin Smith, A.J. Morena, Matt Valle, and Tom Monte. He pitched a complete game and was nearly unhittable over the later innings.
The Clippers have now built up a 3-0 record in their division, while Holy Cross falls to 2-2.
The CHSAA has been playing baseball games since April 15, but a number of postponements due to inclement weather have left several games to be made up. Xaverian has already beaten Archbishop Molloy, but St. Francis Prep and McClancy still stand as undefeated Queens teams who have yet to face the Brooklyn juggernauts.
Manfredonia believes that the rain postponements and the early season have prompted his team to perform below its potential. The Knights were deprived of seven non-league games before the season started, due to the weather. Thus, the pitchers couldn’t get their needed work done
“After we got stuck indoors during the week, everybody got put to sleep by the rain, and the players weren’t into it as yet,” Manfredonia said.
To Holy Cross’ credit is the fact that those pitchers – headlined by Andrew Mulvey, Mike McManus, and Derek Lamacchia – are strong. The team’s hitting, meanwhile, has been more of a question mark as the young season gets underway.
“The hitting is still behind,” Manfredonia said. “I think it’s the same thing for everyone else. Offensively, it’s hard to say.”