April 26, 2005
Rick Seltzer laced the first pitch he saw into the right centerfield gap, scoring Gabe Perez with the winning run as the Siena baseball team completed a doubleheader sweep of Cornell with its second dramatic 10 inning victory in as many days in sunny Loudonville Tuesday. Siena won a well pitched opener 1-0 in just under an hour and a half before taking the nightcap 5-4.
The Saints have now won five straight contests and eight of nine games at home this season. Senior Mike Orlick was sensational on the mound, earning a two inning save in the opener, and picking up the victory with 5.1 innings of strong relief in the backend.
Sophomore Lou Gattozzi (Strongsville, Ohio) singled home the game's only run in the second inning, fisting a 0-1 offering into right field. Freshman Jake Willis (East Lyme, Conn.), who led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third base following a wild pitch and a groundout, scored the run.
Pitching was the story from the start, as the Saints (16-17) and Big Red (13-18) used five pitchers, who combined to allow just the one run and eight total hits. Freshman Ryan King (Skillman, N.J.) was in command for the Saints. He worked five innings and allowed just three hits while striking out five. King, who improved to 2-1 on the season, did not walk a batter. Orlick (Foster City, Calif.) was equally effective in relief, allowing just one hit in the sixth and seventh to preserve the victory. Cornell never had a runner advance past second base until there were two out in the seventh, and Orlick retired Ry Kagan to fly out to end the game.
Neither team made an error, and neither had a player with a multi-hit game. The Saints did not commit a single defensive miscue in 17 innings of play on the day. The game was completed in a brisk 1:24.
Both teams scored in their first at bat, placing more runs on the board in the first inning than in the entire first game. Michael Weiss singled home the first run of the day for the Big Red with two outs off Siena starter Trevor Reid (Harrisburgh, Pa.). Reid then settled down and was effective for the majority of his outing. The sophomore went 4.2 innings, sacrificing six hits and three runs while striking out four.
The Saints took a 4-1 lead in fourth, as Cornell reliever Matt Light struggled with his control. Perez began the inning with a sharp single to left, and after Justin Arasin Middletown, N.J.) was hit by a pitch, the pair advanced a base on the first of three wild pitches charged to Light in the inning. After Steve Ballas (Wilbreham, Mass.) fouled out, Brian Schmotzer walked. Perez scored and Arasin advanced to third on the fourth ball thrown to Ballas, which bounced all the way to the backstop. After Arasin was cut off at the plate trying to throw on another errant pitch, Schmotzer scored when Willis' fly ball was dropped by centerfielder Brian Kaufman. The ugly inning would haunt the Big Red.
Cornell cut the deficit to a single run in the fifth with a pair of runs off Reid. Leadoff man Seth Gordan walked to start the rally and Brian Kaufman promptly doubled to right field on a hit and run to make the score 4-2. Kaufman scored on a two out wild pitch after it appeared Reid would work out of trouble with back-to-back grounders to second.
Orlick and reliever Kevin Conlin then matched zeros until the top of the seventh, when shortstop Matt Mazurek delivered a game-tying homerun to left centerfield with two outs to tie the game, and ultimately force extra innings.
Head coach Tony Rossi stuck with Orlick throughout the extra session, which proved to be a wise move. The senior transfer allowed just one hit in the three extra frames, allowing the Saints to strike for the game-winning tally in the 10th.
After leaving the bases loaded in the ninth, the Saints were opportunistic in the 10th. Perez worked a nice at bat and singled hard up the middle with one out. He moved all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt by reliever Michael Hudson. Jake Willis was then hit by a pitch, and after struggling to find the zone early in the count, Hudson elected to intentionally walk yesterday's hero Michael Ambury to bring up Seltzer with the bases loaded. With the infield and outfield playing in, Seltzer launched a soaring line drive into the right centerfield gap to win the game.
Ballas and Perez each had two hits for the victors. Siena had defeated Canisius 9-8 in 10 innings Monday.
The Saints will look for some more home cooking when they complete their six game homestand Thursday at 4 p.m. against Wagner.