March 19, 2011
Friday night Dayton pounded Siena 13-0 in a rain-shortened game that kicked off a four-game weekend set between the two schools in Ohio. Saturday the Saints responded emphatically. Siena swept a doubleheader from the Flyers 6-3 and 4-1 behind dominating starting pitching efforts from sophomore Justin Brantley and senior Zach Hartman at Time Warner Cable Stadium.
Brantley (Hudson, N.Y.) tossed eight solid innings in the opener, scattering 10 hits and allowing just three runs while striking out four. He improved to 2-2 on the season and his team-leading ERA moved to 2.97. The sophomore has posted these numbers against superior competition, and Saturday was no exception. Exactly one week ago, Dayton scored 21 runs in a sweep of MAAC contender Canisius.
The Saints scored their first run of the day without the benefit of a hit, as Larry Balkwill walked to leadoff the second, was sacrificed to second, advanced to third on a groundout, and scored on a two-out wild pitch.
They never trailed the rest of the day.
Dan Paolini doubled home two runs in the third to make it a 3-0 lead, and after Dayton trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with single runs in the third and fourth, the Saints struck twice in the sixth on an RBI single from Ken Kirshner and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mike Allen and coasted home.
Paolini scored an insurance run in the seventh, and Dayton tacked on a run in the eight to account for the 6-3 final. The Flyers put their first two men on in the ninth, but Ryan Poplawski settled down to pick up his third save of the season.
Vincent Citro and Tyler Bell each had two hits for the Saints, and eight of the nine starters hit safely.
The nightcap was dominated by Hartman (Ballston Spa, N.Y.), who pitched a complete-game gem. He allowed just one run in nine innings of work, sacrificed nine hits and struck out four.
Mike Fish paced the Siena offense with three hits, including an RBI single in the second that sparked an early rally that gave Siena the lead for good. Paoloni and Bell each had two hits in the second game.
Dayton scored its only run in the third inning. Bobby Glover led off with a double and Brian Basik, who collected four hits on the day, followed with a run-scoring single.
Siena will try for the series victory tomorrow at noon.