Justin Esquerra's three-run double in the seventh was the difference Sunday
April 13, 2014
Justin Esquerra's bases-clearing double in the seventh highlighted a four-run frame that carried Siena past Canisius 6-3 in a rematch of last year's MAAC Championship game Sunday in Buffalo. The Saints rallied to take the series from the Griffs after dropping Saturday's opener, and secured their claim on first place in the early conference standings.
Siena (9-24, 7-2) got 5.2 strong innings from sophomore starter Bryan Goossens, who struck out seven and allowed just two earned runs before giving way to classmate Kyano Cummings. Cummings was solid in his three innings of relief, giving up just three hits and a run, setting the stage for Neil Fryer to pick up his second save of the weekend by retiring Jesse Puscheck on a fly ball to left field to end the game.
Connor Panas' solo home run in the first put Canisius (20-13, 8-4) up 1-0, and the Griffs tacked on a run in the second on Puscheck's leadoff homer.
John Rooney's two-out, two run single in the fourth evened the score, 2-2, and that's where things stayed until the Saints broke free with four runs in the seventh.
Dave Hoffmann started the decisive rally with a one-out double, and after Tyler Martis grounded out, Vincent Citro walked and Mike Allen reached on an infield single. Esquerra followed with the game-changing blow - a three-run double down the left field line. Andres Ortiz finished off a big weekend at the plate by singling home Esquerra with an important insurance run to put the Saints up 6-1.
Canisius scored the final run of the game when Shane Zimmer drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh, but Cummings settled down from there.
Allen, Esquerra, Ortiz, Rooney and Hoffmann all had two hits for the Saints. Brett Siddall went 3-for-4 for Canisius.
The Saints travel to Cornell for a doubleheader Tuesday and Fordham for a single game Wednesday before (hopefully) playing their first games of the season at Siena Field against Iona on Good Friday at noon.