March 25, 2012
The Siena baseball team got a much-needed 5-4 win at MAAC preseason favorite Canisius Sunday in the final game of a three-game weekend set. Freshman James Murray worked into the seventh, allowing just five hits and three earned runs to pick up his first collegiate win.
Vincent Citro led Siena's 11-hit attack with three singles from the leadoff spot. John Rooney and Larry Balkwill each had two hits.
The Saints used a three-run seventh to take a 5-3 lead. Rooney delivered the big blow in the game - a two-out, two-run double down the right field line that gave Siena the lead for good. Balkwill followed with an RBI single, providing what proved to be a key insurance run.
Canisius scored a run in the bottom of the seventh, but sophomore Neil Fryer came on to close the door on the Griffs from there.
Fryer worked the final 2.2 innings and did not allow a baserunner, earning his second save of the season. Fryer struck out three, and Murray fanned six in his 6.1 innings.
Murray's performance couldn't have come at a better time. The Saints were swept in a Friday doubleheader by Canisius 9-3 and 7-3 with their top two arms on the mound. Sunday's victory could prove critical down the road as Siena tries to secure one of four MAAC Tournament bids.
The Saints struck for a run in the second on Ryan Metzler's RBI single to take an early lead, but the Griffs scored three straight to take the advantage.
Siena played small ball to pick up a run in the fifth, using two infield singles, a sacrifice bunt and a fielder's choice ground out to get on the board.
Fryer struck out Shane Zimmer, one of Canisius' top bats, with runners on the corners to end a serious threat following an error in the seventh, and coasted home from there.
The Saints have played their first 22 games on the road, but they're scheduled to open their home schedule with a non-conference game against NJIT on Wednesday. Siena plays nine of its next 11 games at home.