Bats Awake As Siena Salvages Series Finale With Niagara, 8-3
April 10, 2004
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y.- John Lannan worked six and a third innings of four-hit ball allowing only one first inning run pacing Siena's 8-3 MAAC victory over Niagara in Loudonville Saturday. Senior Tony Cipolla delivered a pair of clutch hits, driving in Siena's first run with a double to deep left field in the first inning before launching a two-run homerun to provide insurance in the seventh.
For the second consecutive game, Niagara (10-15/5-2 MAAC) scored in their first at bat. Tim Fitzgerald began the game by legging out an infield single off the glove of Lannan, and came around to score on Reed Eastley's single to left field.
Siena (11-15/3-4 MAAC) answered with three runs in its first at bat, as all nine players came to the plate. Six Saints reached base off starter Daniel Griffin who didn't make it out of the inning, allowing three hits and three walks in suffering his fourth setback of the season. Cipolla's double was followed by consecutive run-scoring singles off the bats of Shawn Hampton and Scott King. Ryan Virtue replaced Griffin with two outs and the bases loaded and promptly retired Greg Batista on a pop-up to second off his initial offering.
The Saints tacked on an unearned run in both the third and fourth innings, taking advantage of three of the Purple Eagles four errors on the afternoon. Scott King drew a one-out walk in the third and moved to second on Blake Hanan's fourth sacrifice bunt of the season. Niagara then committed consecutive two-out errors, allowing King to score Siena's fourth run. Kevin Roberts reached to lead off the fourth inning on shortstop Reed Eastley's second error of the game, and scored on a Cipolla sacrifice fly to right. Cipolla finished with a game-high four RBI.
In the seventh inning, Siena managed to do what it has struggled to all season, building on its four-run lead with three additional runs. Hampton followed Cipolla's blast with a single to left field and King reached on another Niagara error. After Hampton was caught trying to score on a passed ball, King scored on Blake Hanan's double down the left field line. Hanan finished off a marvelous series at the plate with a 2-for-3 afternoon, capping off a weekend in which he reached base in 8-of-10 at bats and collected seven hits.
Niagara scored two runs in the eighth off reliever Trevor Reid, the first coming on a leadoff home run by Tim Fitzgerald, his second of the season. The Purple Eagles then rallied to load the bases, scoring again on an infield single by pinch hitter John Clifford.
Josh Courage entered with the tying run on deck and put out the fire by striking out Matt Schafer with the bases loaded. He worked a hit-free ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season. Matt Alati and Jeff Vincent joined Fitzgerald with multi-hit games for the visitors. Hampton, Hanan and Cipolla each had a pair of hits for the victors.
Siena continues its homestand with a non-conference twinbill against Vermont on Tuesday.