April 20, 2012
Saint Peter's beat Siena 5-4 in an entertaining series opener Friday afternoon in Loudonville. The two teams will wrap up the MAAC series with a doubleheader at Siena Field Saturday at 10 a.m.
It was the sixth time in the last seven games, and the seventh time in the last eight MAAC games that Siena has played a one-run game. This time, the Saints ended up on the short end.
The two teams combined for 26 hits, but only nine runs were scored thanks to some great defensive play.
Saint Peter's scored three times in the seventh to break free from a 2-2 tie, and Siena closed within the final margin by scoring twice in the bottom of the frame.
The game turned in the bottom of the seventh when Siena had leadoff man John Rooney up with runners on first and second with no outs and two runs already in. Rooney squared to bunt, and tried to get out of the way of an inside fastball, but the pitch found his bat and the ball bounced right back to the mound. Reliever Anthony DeLeo fielded, then turned and threw out the lead runner at third, and Brian Koster made the cross-diamond toss to easily double up Rooney who was knocked to the ground trying to dodge the pitch.
The Saints got the leadoff man on in the eighth, and sacrificed it to second, but Mike Fish lined hard to center to end that threat. Kyle Baldani singled with one out in the ninth, but Dom Macaluso got Rooney to ground out with a man on second to end the game.
Justyn Carter, Nicholas Henriquez and Brian Schroeder each had three hits for Saint Peter's. Henriquez' performance was especially noteworthy, because he was a late addition to the middle of the lineup due to injury. He drove home the tying run in the fifth, and the go-ahead run with a double to right in the seventh.
, Larry Balkwill
, Fay and Baldani each had two hits in the loss for Siena. Balkwill and Fay had RBI hits in the first inning to give Siena an early 2-0 lead.
Ryan Poplawski kept the Peacocks at bay until the fifth, running his scoreless inning streak to an impressive 20.2 innings.
Zack Hopf started for Saint Peter's and worked into the seventh to earn his third victory of the season. Macaluso got his fifth save.