Sophomore pitcher John Nolan and freshman hurler Matt Pierce combined to throw the 17th two-hitter in Siena Baseball history in the Saints’ 8-3 win at Holy Cross. Junior second baseman Jordan Bishop and sophomore third baseman Brian Kelly paced the offense with three hits and three RBI apiece.
The combined two-hitter marked just the program’s second such occurrence and first in 11 years, since four Siena (14-18-1) pitchers came together to achieve the feat on Apr. 25, 2006 vs. Cornell. Individually, then senior Kyano Cummings most recently tossed a pair of two-hitters last season.
Nolan went the first five innings and struck out a career-high six batters to post his first collegiate win. Pierce followed with four hitless and scoreless innings out of the bullpen with a season-high five strikeouts to record his first career save.
The offense was equally impressive, as seven different Saints recorded hits as part of a 12-hit barrage. Bishop reached base safely in all five plate appearances, and Kelly raised his season average to a stellar .388 following another strong performance at the dish.
Siena wasted no time in getting off to a hot start, plating three runs in the first capped by Kelly’s third home run of the season. After Holy Cross (15-20) rallied within 5-3 in fifth, Bishop and Kelly delivered key insurance runs with RBI singles in the sixth.
Senior centerfielder and leadoff hitter Dan Swain set the table throughout in reaching base safely four times, while also scoring four runs. Junior captain Phil Madonna also added a single to extend his hitting streak to a robust 13 games.
Next up for the Saints is a MAAC Championship Series rematch this weekend vs. defending league champion and current conference frontrunner Fairfield at Siena Field. The series commences with doubleheader action Saturday beginning at noon.