April 13, 2013
The Siena baseball team took two tight games from Iona Saturday in New Rochelle, setting the stage for a possible sweep with Sunday's series finale set for noon. The Saints won the opener 3-2 in 11 innings and took the nightcap 4-2.
"It was a struggle, but we really fought hard," Siena coach Tony Rossi said. "Pitching and defense kept us in both games."
Iona out-hit the Saints 16-8 in the first game and was an out away from victory when Tyler Martis worked a walk and Vincent Citro followed with a game-tying RBI single in the 9th. The Gaels had runners on the corners with just one out in the 10th, but reliever Matt Quintana struck out Joe Smith and then got Christian Choman to ground to first to end the threat.
Mike Fish drove in the winning run in the 11th with a two-out infield single. Neil Fryer worked around two hits in the bottom of the frame to pick up his first of two saves on the day.
Both starting pitchers delivered masterful outings. Siena starter Matt Gage tossed eight innings, scattering 10 hits while allowing just two runs. He struck out seven. Eddie Macaluso worked the first seven innings for the Gaels, giving up just three hits and a run. Quintana was credited with his second victory of the season.
Andres Ortiz had two hits in the first game, and he was the offensive star of the second finishing 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Siena built a 4-0 lead in the second game with single runs in the first and third innings and two runs in the fifth.
Justin Brantley kept Iona off the scoreboard in the first four innings, before allowing single runs in the fifth and sixth. Fryer got the last out of the sixth and locked down the victory for the Saints after giving up a double and single to start the seventh.
Ortiz drove home Siena's first run after Citro singled and stole second in the Saints' first at bat. He doubled and scored the second run in the third on Fish's RBI double. Larry Balkwill's sacrifice fly chased home Ortiz with Siena's third run of the game in the fourth, and Brian Fay followed with an RBI single to right center to account for the final run.
Matt Byrne had two of Iona's nine hits in the second game. The Saints managed just seven safeties.
First pitch of Sunday's nine-innings series finale is set for noon.