April 14, 2004
Bill Lazio singled home Kevin Roberts with the go-ahead run and came around to score what proved to be the game-winner on Tony Cipolla's fourth hit if the afternoon, as Siena rallied to take the nightcap of a non-conference twinbill against Vermont 7-6 at an unusually hitter-friendly Siena Field Wednesday. Josh Burnett won his third consecutive decision in the opener as the Saints coasted to a 7-2 victory.
Vermont (8-14) struck for a pair of runs on back-to-back homeruns of Burnett in their initial at bat. Dean Geoffry got just enough of a 1-2 offering to plant the first run of the day just over the left field wall. Miguel Magrass followed with a more convincing blast to left, but the power surge proved to by a precursor of things to come.
Siena (13-15) got its first run of the day in the second, as Scott King launched his second homerun of the season to left field to leadoff the inning. The Saints broke through for four runs in the third inning. Kevin Roberts walked on four pitches to leadoff the inning and scored on a hit-and-run off the bat of Lazio that fell in front of centerfielder Leif Ekelund, and then eluded his glove as he tried to cut it off. Roberts took advantage of the error to score the equalizer and Lazio alertly moved all the way to third to set the stage for the game's definitive rally. Shawn Hampton doubled Lazio home and he scored along with the hot-hitting Blake Hanan on Eric Hildenbrand's two-strike, two-out single to center.
In the meantime, Burnett settled down on the hill and did not allow another Catamount run in his six innings of work. The Saints padded their lead in the sixth on a Cipolla sacrifice fly and another run-scoring hit from Hampton. Lazio and Hildenbrand joined Hampton with two hits for the Saints. Geoffrey, Magrass, Barry Childenbrand and Andrew Folley collected multi-hit games in a losing effort for Vermont.
Vermont again struck for a pair of runs in their first at bat in the backend of the doubleheader. Bobby Tewksbary led off the game with his first of two homeruns, and Kyle Brault singled home Magrass with the second as the Catamounts got off to a fast start. Siena answered with two runs of its own in its initial go-around. Scott King and Hanan each collected RBI singles and Vermont escaped more damage as Ekelund ran down Hildenbrand's line drive to center with two outs.
The Catamounts grabbed the lead back in the third with an unearned run, as Ekelund grounded out to score Breault who had reached on a three-base fielding error. Siena's Kevin Roberts tied the game with a single down the right field line in the fourth, but Jon Pfelka again survived more damage by getting Lazio to ground into an inning-ending double play with runners on the corners.
Vermont rode that momentum into their next offensive sequence, scoring two runs off reliever Josh Copskey. Tewksbary began the frame with a homerun to centerfield and Magrass launched a one-out shot to give the visitors a 5-3 lead.
The Saints inched closer in the home half on a momentous blast by Cipolla, his third of the season. They took the lead for good with three runs in the sixth. Steve Ballas began the inning with an infield single, and pinch runner Greg Batista was sacrificed to second by John Wilkes turning the lineup over. Kevin Roberts followed with a double to left centerfield to tie the game and bring Lazio to the plate. Cipolla's single to centerfield followed Lazio's heroics and gave the Saints a much-needed insurance run.
Josh Courage made his second relief appearance of the day in the seventh, entering with a 7-5 lead after working a scoreless seventh in the opener. He ran into trouble as pinch hitter James Chapman led off with a single to centerfield and Tewksbary followed with a bloop single to right. After Geoffrey sacrificed the runners to scoring position, Magrass grounded to short, advancing each a base and bringing the Catamounts to within a run. Courage buckled down and struckout Ekelund on three straight pitches to end the threat and the game. It was his fifth save of the season. Josh Copskey improved to 2-0 with the victory in relief.
The two teams combined for 41 hits and seven home runs on the afternoon.
Siena travels to Hofstra for a non-conference game at 3 p.m. tomorrow before returning to MAAC action at home against Fairfield this weekend.