May 31 - Siena traveled deep in the heart of Texas to post its first NCAA win in a sport other than men's basketball. The Saints rallied from a 7-0 deficit to claim a wild 9-8 extra-inning win over nationally-ranked Dallas Baptist in the Fort Worth Regional. Senior Vincent Citro delivered a two-out single that chased home Anders Ortiz with the winning run in the 10th. The victory came just hours after the program nearly stunned No. 7 national seed and Tournament host TCU before succumbing 2-1 in 11 innings.
Why we Loved it:
Head coach Tony Rossi had won 800 games in his 45 seasons at Siena, but his 801st is by far his most cherished. Baseball doesn't take center stage too often in the Northeast, but on this day televisions were tuned to ESPN2 where bonus coverage of the Saints' improbable comeback aired across the nation. Siena started the season 0-17 and played its first 34 games on the road. They lost their first MAAC Tournament game to fall into the loser's bracket and had to knock off a powerhouse Canisius squad that was ranked No. 29 by Collegiate Baseball twice on Championship Sunday to claim its first MAAC title in 15 years. Then, they fell behind 7-0 after a gut-wrenching near-upset of TCU. Forget 2014, this was one of the great moments in Siena's athletic history.
Behind the Scenes:
Senior reliever Neil Fryer (Greenwich, N.Y.) gave the performance of his life, overcoming 90-degree heat to deliver nine innings of near perfection. Fryer entered with no outs in the second and Siena trailing 6-0, and after allowing an inherited runner to score the Patriots' seventh run, he was nearly unhittable. Fryer's final line: nine innings pitched, six hits, one run. Fryer finished his career as the program's all-time saves leader and one of the best pitchers ever to don the Green and Gold.
Did You Know:
Siena went up against TCU's Brandon Finnegan in its first round NCAA game. Finnegan left the game after Dave Hoffmann tied it up at 1 with a one-out triple to right in the eighth. Finnegan was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and became the first player professional rookie to get called up to the majors. He made 14 appearances, including seven postseason outings as the Royals made it all the way to the World Series. But Finnegan met his match against the Saints. Siena ace Matt Gage went nine full innings allowing just one run and six hits to push the game into extras. Gage was drafted by the World Champion San Francisco Giants in the 10th Round.
"I'm really happy for our school and our baseball alumni. They've been all over me with texts and e-mails the last few days. I'm really happy for everybody in the Siena community."
~ Head Coach Tony Rossi
Relive the Moment
Siena Walks Off With First NCAA Win