April 27, 2008
Rick Seltzer's opposite field single with no outs in the bottom of the ninth chased home pinch runner Kyle Hudson with the game-winning run as Siena topped visiting LeMoyne 12-11 Sunday to take a competitive and at times contentious series between the longtime rivals playing for the last scheduled time.
The lead seesawed all afternoon with the Dolphins (21-19) erasing an early 4-1 deficit to take a 6-4 lead into the final third of the game. The Saints (19-24) responded with two runs in the seventh to tie the game and four runs in the eighth to take a 10-6 lead. LeMoyne staged a spirited two-out rally in the top of the ninth, tying the game on Chris Edmondson's bases-clearing triple, and talking an 11-10 lead when Edmondson scored on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the ninth, Eric Mruczek topped off a sensational weekend at the plate with a lead off double to right that bounced just in front of Robert Perez who dived in an attempt to make the catch. Perez popped up and fired to second, but his throw - which would have been in time to cut down Mruczek - took a bad hop and could not be fielded cleanly.
Freshman Kevin Quaranto followed with a sharp single through the right side of the infield that plated pinch runner Al Williams with the tying run. Seltzer then worked a 2-2 count and looped an opposite field shot that curved away from Edmondson and landed just inside the foul line and away from the left fielder's desperation dive. Hudson charged home without a throw and with hands hurled toward the sky as the Saints dugout emptied when the winning run crossed home.
It was the ninth win in 11 games for the surging Saints, who lost game one in the series before rallying to claim one-run victories in games two and three.
The two teams combined for 31 hits and each made just one error as hitting and fielding trumped pitching for most of the day.
Senior Moises Rivera was 4-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. His seventh inning homer tied the game at 6-6. Mruczek joined freshman Anthony Giansanti and senior Chris Klepps with two hit games for the Saints.
Freshman Dan Lazzaroni earned the win despite sacrificing the big lead in the ninth. Senior Tom Hopkins pitched two scoreless innings in relief earlier in the game.
Edmonson was 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored for LeMoyne. Matt Nandin, Perez, Chris Haynes, Chris Murphy and Alajandro Del Valle each collected two hits in a losing effort for the Dolphins.
The game had a playoff feel despite the fact that the two perennial MAAC powers were playing in non-league action for the first time since the 1980's as a result of LeMoyne removal from the league after last year. Aside from the back and forth nature of the series, a major reason for the zeal could have been the fact that the teams are not scheduled to play again in the near future.
From a Siena perspective, the emotional weekend could not have had a better conclusion.