Siena coach Tony Rossi was left scratching his head Tuesday night after Siena blew a 5-1 lead in a 6-5 loss to visiting UMass. The Minutemen scored five times in the eighth inning and held on for a one-run victory after the Saints seemed to have the game in hand.
The loss spoiled a strong start from sophomore Taylor Ahearn. Ahearn didn't allow a hit after Kyle Adie's led off the game with the Minutemen's first triple of the season in five stellar innings of work.
The Minutemen batted around in the eighth and took advantage of a fatal defensive miscue to steal the win. Jon Avallone began the inning with a soft single to right and Adie followed with a long drive to right that Fred Smart couldn't rein in. Adie ended up at second and Avallone at third, setting the stage for the big inning. Brandon Walsh's two-run double to left was the biggest hit of the game, chasing home Adam Picard with the tying run and pinch runner Paul Yanakopulos with what proved to be the winning run.
Esquerra doubled to lead off the eighth, but he was left stranded after Brian Fay's towering drive to right chased Picard to the middle of the warning track.
Freshman Kevin Hassett picked up his first career win in relief. Mike Geannelis earned the save in his first outing of the season off injury.
Dan Swain reached base four times for Siena from the leadoff spot, and scored the Saints' first run after swiping second and third in the first. Smart got the Saints' first hit with a sharp single to center in the fifth and came around to make it 2-1.
Picard and Rob McLam each had two hits for UMass.
Siena will try to get back in the win column tomorrow when it travels to face Fairleigh Dickenson at 3:30 p.m.