Siena Nine Sweeps Niagara
April 13, 2002
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - The Siena baseball team (11-20/6-5 MAAC) scored twice in their first at bat Saturday morning and never looked back en route to a dominating sweep of Niagara University (6-20/4-7 MAAC) in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader played at Siena Field. Siena won the opening game 12-0 and the second game 5-1. Senior captain Josh Kean (Schenectady, N.Y./South Colonie/S.C.C.C.) reached base in all eight of his plate appearances and went 5-for-5 in the opener with five RBI to pace the Saints' explosive attack.
In the opener, which was moved up to 10 a.m. as a result of the threat of inclement weather, the Saints struck for eight runs in their first three at bats chasing Niagara starter Matt McNally from the game. Along with Kean, co-captains Jim Buckley and Ryan Finn each drove in a pair of runs. Local product Blake Hanan (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenedehowa) had three hits and played stellar at shortstop all day for the victors. Classmate Kevin Roberts and Fausto Franco joined the aforementioned trio with multi-hit games. Franco also added a pair of 'web-gem' catches from his post in centerfield.
The offensive outburst was more than enough for junior Justin Knoff who worked all nine innings allowing just two hits without walking a batter in his second consecutive scintillating performance on the hill. Knoff struck out four batters and did not allow a single Purple Eagle to reach second base.
Finn led the charge in the nightcap driving in four of Siena's five runs-two of which came on his eighth home run of the season (42nd career) in the third inning. Finn and Niagara outfielder Lou Wrobel were the only players with multi-hit games in the closer.
Sophomore Josh Copskey picked up the complete game win-his first of the season-striking out five batters and allowing just one earned run. With the win, the Saints MAAC record jumped over .500 for the first time since the squad opened conference play with a Saturday sweep at Manhattan.
Kean singled in his first at bat of the nightcap running his consecutive at bats with a hit streak to seven (dating back to Wednesday's win at Fordham). He walked and was hit by a pitch in his final two at bats of the afternoon, meaning he has reached base safely in nine consecutive plate appearances. The senior outfielder, who is coming off ACL surgery last spring, has batted .857 this week (12-for-14) raising his team-leading average to a robust .422.
Siena has swept the Saturday twin-bill in three of its four MAAC series to date, but will be looking for its first Sunday conference win in the series finale at noon tomorrow.