April 16, 2011
Zach Hartman pitched into the ninth inning, allowing just one earned run, to lead the Siena baseball team to an important 3-2 victory over defending MAAC Champion Rider in Loudonville Saturday. The Saints entered the weekend with a 1-5 league record, while the Broncs had won eight of their first nine MAAC contests.
"It's a great win for us, and hopefully one that can really get us going," head coach Tony Rossi said after the game.
The Saints (13-21/3-6) host Cornell on Tuesday before travelling to Niagara for three games against the Purple Eagles this coming Friday and Saturday. Niagara currently sits in last place in the conference.
Siena suffered a tough 3-2 loss in the series opener yesterday, but rallied to win the nightcap 12-7. Hartman was in complete control throughout Saturday's series finale', but the Broncs made things very interesting late.
Rider scored a run in the eighth to make it a one-run game, and chased Hartman with a one-out single and walk in the ninth. Freshman Neil Freyer came in and got leadoff man Nick Crescenzo to ground into a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning. In the process, the winning run moved to third. Ryan Poplawski relieved Freyer to face left-handed pinch hitter Brandon Cotton, and the game ended on a fantastic defensive play.
Cotton grounded Poplawski's 2-0 offering up the middle, where second baseman Dan Paolini raced to make the stop, and in one motion, flipped the ball from his glove to short stop Vincent Citro ,who barehanded the ball and arrived at second base an instant before the hard-charging Crescenzo to end the game.
It secured the fifth save of the season for Poplawski, and the third win for Hartman, who was brilliant on the hill.
Paolini got the Saints on the board in the first inning with a sharp RBI single to left, the third straight hit to start the game for Siena. Crescenzo tied the game with an RBI double in the fifth, but Siena answered quickly, retaking the lead on Kevin Quaranto's two-out single in the bottom of the frame. Larry Balkwill doubled to lead off the sixth, and scored Siena's final run of the day on Tyler Bell's sacrifice fly to center.
Siena has won six of its last nine games to get back in the MAAC chase.