April 21, 2012
It was a weekend of missed opportunities for the Siena baseball team, and as a result the Saints face an uphill climb to advance to the Tournament they will host next month. Saint Peter's completed a three-game MAAC sweep with 4-0 and 4-3 wins in Loudonville Saturday after taking the series opener 5-4 Friday afternoon.
Matthew Yuhas tossed a complete-game (7 inning), three-hit shutout in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader for Saint Peter's (16-24, 7-5), and in the nightcap, Justyn Carter's one-out sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth was the difference.
Eight of Siena's (13-28, 4-8) last 10 MAAC games have been decided by a single run, and the Saints have lost five of those contests, including all four at Siena Field.
Siena had victory in its grasp in the final game of the series. The score was tied 3-3 in the eighth when Ted Trymbiski doubled with one out, and Lou Ianotti followed with a sharp single to center. But Trymbiski was gunned down at home on the play, and Ianotti was caught off second after taking a huge turn on the throw to the plate.
Instead of leading 4-3 heading to the ninth, the stunned Saints took the field with the score still tied, and Saint Peter's made them pay.
Pat Farrell was hit by a pitch to start the ninth for the Peacocks, and then Larry Balkwill couldn't corral reliever Ed Lewicki's errant throw to first on the ensuing sacrifice bunt attempt. The Peacocks ended up with men on first and second and no outs, and Carter came through with the game-winning sac fly to right.
Cardona and Sullivan played a key role in Siena's offense earlier in the game. Head coach Tony Rossi shook up his lineup after the 4-0 loss in game one, inserting Sullivan into the leadoff spot, and the freshman went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Saints jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first, and after the Peacocks rallied to take a 3-2 lead with a run in the third and two unearned runs in the fourth, Cardona homered to tie the game leading off the fifth.
Saint Peter's main scoring inning never should have happened, as Preston Aldridge reached on a two out error in the fourth with nobody on, and the next three batters took advantage. Carter drove home both runs in the inning with a ground ball single up the middle.
Freshman Matt Gage started the first MAAC game of his career fro Siena, and pitched well enough to win, allowing just one earned run and five hits in six innings of work. Anthony DeLeo and Dom Macaluso anchored a Saint Peter's bullpen that didn't allow a run all weekend. Deleo picked up the victory in the finale, and Macaluso earned his second save of the weekend.
Saint Peter's did their most damage in Saturday's first game with a three-run third that provided all the support Yuhas would need. Matt Speckman went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, and Nicholas Henriquez continued his stellar weekend by reaching base twice and driving in two runs.
John Rooney had two of Siena's three hits.
Siena continues its eight-game homestand Wednesday against Holy Cross.