March 16, 2012
On a day that will be remembered for years to come for upsets that occurred on the basketball court, the Siena baseball team had some magic of its own. The Saints knocked off Memphis at FedEx Field 6-3 Friday night behind the left arm of Ryan Poplawski and the right arm of Neil Fryer.
Siena's offense came through when it mattered most too.
The Saints broke free from a 3-3 tie with three runs in the eighth inning, and Fryer closed the door on the Tigers from there.
Memphis scored an unearned run in its first at bat, and then Poplawski put up five straight zeros. His final line: six innings pitched, eight strikeouts, no earned runs. It was the performance the Saints needed to build confidence with MAAC play starting at Canisius next weekend. Poplawski proved when he's at the top of his game, Siena can beat anyone in the conference.
Vincent Citro singled to lead off the sixth, and came around to score the tying run on Larry Balkwill's double-play groundout. The Saints took a 3-1 lead with two unearned runs in the seventh, but Memphis answered with two in the bottom of the frame to set up the dramatic finish.
Siena scored the go-ahead run when Ryan Metzler drew a bases loaded walk, and then Tyler Bell delivered the big blow of the game - a two-run, two-out single to right.
Fryer worked the final 2.2 innings without allowing a run to pick up the victory, just the second in 17 games for Siena this season. The Saints finish off their Spring Break trip with a doubleheader against the Tigers tomorrow.