March 30, 2004
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y.- Delmar native Josh Burnett (Bethlehem Central) earned his second collegiate victory, working five innings of five hit ball while sacrificing only a single unearned run in the third inning pacing Siena's 6-1 non-conference home-opening win over Holy Cross Tuesday. The five hits were the only safeties allowed by the Siena pitching corps, as three relievers closed the door with four perfect innings of relief in support of Burnett.
The Crusaders jumped to an early 1-0 lead following consecutive errors by Siena first baseman Steve Ballas. After Ballas mishandled a foul pop up, prolonging an Ed Turner at bat that ultimately ended with Holy Cross' first hit of the day, a throwing error to a hurried Burnett off a Tucker Frawley grounder accounted for the game's first run. Turner was the only Crusader to muster a multi-hit game, collecting two singles, while four Siena players hit safely at least two times.
Scott King's two out single to center field in the bottom half of the third chased home the tying and go-ahead runs for the Saints. Both runs were unearned, as Kevin Roberts-who came around to score the equalizer reached on a fielding error to begin the inning. Siena touched Holy Cross' starter Rob Oteri for an additional run in the fifth inning, as Tony Cipolla's left field line-hugging grounder chased Roberts home with his second of three runs scored on the day. Cipolla was cut down at second attempting to extend the hit to a double preventing further damage.
Cipolla sparked the Saints final rally of the day with an RBI double to right centerfield in the seventh inning. Siena added two additional insurance runs in the seventh, the first coming on an RBI groundout by King and the second on an Eric Hildenbrand RBI single. Cipolla finished with a game-high three hits and three RBI. Roberts, King and John Wilkes each collected two hits for the victors.
The six Siena runs were more than enough for a polished Siena pitching staff that appeared in midseason form in its Loudonville debut. After the junior Burnett's strong start, Kevin Snyder (2), James Pacifico (1) and Josh Courage (1) closed the door on the Crusader offense, combining for four innings of no-hit work with three strikeouts and no walks.
The game breezed by in just two hours and 10 minutes, before a boisterous crowd of 175 on a windy, but otherwise pleasant March afternoon.
The Saints return to action at Hofstra tomorrow, before resuming conference play this weekend at Manhattan.