April 2, 2002
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Senior slugger Ryan Finn (Clinton, N.Y./Clinton) connected on one of the most spectacular home runs of his career this afternoon-a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning that accounted for all of Siena's (4-18) runs in a 4-2 home-opening victory over the College of the Holy Cross (7-9). The blast was the 39th in the career of Siena's all-time home run king, and moved Head Coach Tony Rossi within three victories of the 500-win plateau.
The Crusaders jumped out to an early lead in the second inning when Ed Turner singled home the game's initial run. Holy Cross tacked on an unearned run in the fourth following back-to-back Siena errors. Dan Powers fielder's choice ground out scored the run. Powers later suffered the defeat in relief of Drew Bigda-who held a shutout into the decisive frame. Bigda struck out seven Saints in 8.1 innings pitched without walking a batter.
Siena's offense was led by shortstop Blake Hanan (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) who had three hits (two doubles) including a ninth inning single to start the rally. Jim Buckley and Tony Cipolla added two hits a piece for the victors. Sophomore Josh Copskey (Stratford, N.J./Glouchester Catholic) started the game, and pitched brilliantly for the Green and Gold. The tall, right handed fireballer pitched seven innings allowing just one earned run and six hits. Dale Szachewicz and Josh Courage kept the margin 2-0 with two solid innings of relief work. Courage picked up the win despite facing just one batter in the top of the ninth.
Finn now has five home runs on the season as he continues to rewrite the Siena record books. The reigning MAAC Player of the Year said he wasn't looking for a home run when he got to the plate. "With the bases loaded, I was just looking for a pitch I could drive," Finn remarked. "The ball was in the upper part of the zone, which enabled me to get it out of the park."
Finn and the Saints return home tomorrow afternoon for a doubleheader with Dartmouth College. The game was originally scheduled as a road contest but was relocated earlier today as a result of the condition of the playing field in Hanover.