April 18, 2004
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y - Reserve Lou Gatozzi made the most of a spot start collecting four hits in five at bats in support of starting pitcher John Lannan who covered 6 2/3 innings in earning his team-leading fifth victory of the season as the Saints coasted past visiting Fairfield 12-2 in MAAC action Sunday afternoon. With the win, Siena evened its record at 16-16 and improved to 6-4 in MAAC play.
The Stags (9-14/5-7 MAAC) scored the game's first run in the top of the second as David Soucy doubled with two outs and scored when Tom Arpino's fly ball to centerfield was dropped. The run held up for the first four innings, as Stags' starter Matt Young worked out of trouble. The Saints left a runner on third base in each of the first three innings, twice with fewer than two outs, as Young made several key pitches to get out of jams.
Siena broke free with five runs in the fifth. Tony Cipolla drove in the tying run with a grounder to third base and the go-ahead scored as the ball was delivered wildly to first. The second of four Fairfield errors proved costly as Shawn Hampton followed with a triple to right centerfield that scored two more runs. Hampton scored the fifth run as Scott King delivered a hard-hit sacrifice fly to right field.
Cipolla singled home another run in the sixth, but King grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to temporarily prevent further damage.
In the meantime, Lannan settled into a dominating rhythm on the mound at one point retiring 11 straight batters to keep the Siena bats on the offensive. His final line included three strikeouts, no walks, a single earned run (two total) and just four hits allowed. Josh Copskey who pitched
2 1/3 innings of one-hit ball to seal the outcome relieved him in the seventh after the Stags scored their second run on Doug Anderson's double.
The Saints piled on the runs in their final two at bats, scoring four times in the seventh and twice in the eight. Bill Lazio
had the big hit in the seventh with a hard single up the middle to plate a pair of runs. He was one of three Saints to register three hits on the afternoon, joining Gatozzi and Blake Hanan
. Hanan also stole a base and capped of a stellar weekend in the field with a pair of dazzling defensive gems.
Hampton drove in his third run in the seventh with a grounder to first and John Wilkes drove in the other with a line drive to left field. The game's final two runs were tallied on Gatozzi's two-out double to left center in the eight and Kevin Roberts line drive single to left field.
Although Siena again set a season benchmark for hits with 16, just four of the runs scored were earned as the Stags struggled in the field all afternoon.
Game Notes: The Saints have won their last four MAAC games, allowing just five total runs (three earned)...Siena batted .357 in six games this week raising its team batting average 20 points to .269...The team is .500 for the first time since March 1 (3-3)...The wins this weekend put the Saints in a fourth place tie with Manhattan which took two of three games from Iona...The Saints entered the weekend behind Fairfield, Manhattan and Iona in the conference standings...Gatozzi had six hits in 27 at bats entering today's game...The Saints play six more home games this week, hosting Binghamton Tuesday, New York Tech (2) Wednesday and Iona (3) in their return to MAAC action this coming weekend...Siena has swept Fairfield each of the last three seasons and is now 14-6 against the Stags all-time.