April 26, 2014
EJ Ashowrth allowed just three hits and got 26 of 27 outs in Fairfield's 4-0 shutout of Siena in the opener of a key MAAC series Saturday in Loudonville. The two teams will play a doubleheader Sunday at noon to complete the weekend set.
The Saints (14-25, 10-3) dropped into a first place tie with idle Quinnipiac in the MAAC standings, percentage points ahead of the upstart Stags (22-16, 11-4).
Ashworth out-dueled Siena ace Matt Gage, striking out six and walking just one batter on the afternoon. Gage had 11 strikeouts in seven innings and was over powering at times. He struck out the side on 13 pitches in the first, and did so again in the fourth after loading the bases with nobody out.
Fairfield got two runs in the second and two in the third, and that was the only scoring in the game.
In the second, Fairfield scored on two walks and two infield singles - a grounder off Gage's glove with men on second and third and one out, and then a bunt single down the third base line by Sal Ciccone chased home the second run. Ryan Plourde tripled with one-out in the third on and scored on Rob LoPinton's squeeze bunt. Dan Hopkins drove home the final run for the Stags with a two-out single to right.
Ciccone and Hopkins each had two hits for Fairfield. Tyler Martis, Justin Esquerra and Brian Fay had hits for Siena.
Ashworth nearly went the distance, but had thrown 125 pitches when Fay singled with two outs in the ninth. Andrew Gallagher came on with the tying run on deck and retired Dave Hoffmann on a foul out to end the game.
Matt Quintana and Chris Amorosi each pitched scoreless innings in relief for the Saints who saw their seven game win streak snapped.