April 17, 2012
The Siena baseball team got strong pitching and timely hitting in an impressive doubleheader sweep of Ivy League contender Cornell in Ithaca Tuesday. The Saints staff allowed just one hit in taking the opener 6-2, and the Siena offense rallied in a 5-4 victory in the second game.
Cornell (24-10-1) entered the day having won or tied 25 of their first 33 games. Siena (13-24) had won just 11 times in its first 35 contests, but the Saints improved to 10-5 since their arduous southern swing.
Freshmen Rick Morales and Matt Gage combined on the one-hitter in the opener with Gage doing the bulk of the work. The promising southpaw worked the final 4.1 innings, and although he sacrificed the one hit, he didn't give up a run and struck out five.
Siena jumped out to a quick lead with two runs in their first at bat on an RBI double by Kirshner, and an RBI single off the bat of Larry Balkwill. Cornell rallied to tie the game with single runs in the first and third, but Siena took the lead back for good with a run in the fifth, and salted it away with three in the seventh.
In the nightcap, it was another stellar relief effort that set the stage for victory.
Sophomore Jim Meindl pitched the final three innings without allowing a run, and Siena broke free from a 4-4 tie when Baldani drew a bases loaded walk in the sixth.
Cornell led 2-0 after Chris Burke's two-run single in the second, but Siena scored four unanswered to take the lead back. Brian Fay's two-run double to left center tied the game in the fourth, and Kirshner finished off a strong day with a two-run triple in the fifth.
Although Cornell rallied to tie in the bottom of the fifth, Miendl came on to close the door, and Baldani's RBI walk proved to be the difference.
Siena will look to ride the momentum of Tuesday's sweep into its home game with Fairleigh Dickinson Wednesday at 4 p.m.