April 27, 2014
John Rooney's one-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth chased home Tyler Martis with the game winning run in the series finale as the Saints rallied to sweep Fairfield 8-6 and 6-5 Sunday to stay in first place in the MAAC.
Siena (16-25, 12-3) is a game ahead of Canisius (11-4) and Quinnipiac (10-3), and two games up on the Stags (22-17, 11-6).
Dave Hoffmann led off a five-run third with a home run to left field, and after Fairfield rallied to tie the game 6-6 pinch hitter Alex Tuccio delivered a go-ahead RBI single to right in the sixth, and Vincent Citro followed with an RBI hit that pushed the final margin to 8-6.
Justin Esquerra had three RBI for the Saints, two coming on his bases-loaded double in the third.
All six of Fairfield's runs were unearned. The Stags had their big inning in the fifth, scoring four times after the leadoff man reached on a fielding error. Ryan Plorde and Brendan Tracy had RBI hits in the frame, and pinch runner Michael Conti scored the tying run in the top of the sixth on one of five Siena wild pitches.
The decisive rally in the sixth started when Andres Ortiz drew a leadoff walk. Hoffmann singled with one-out, setting the stage for Tuccio and Citro.
Hoffmann had two of Siena's eight hits. Tracy led all players with three hits for the Stags.
Reliever Matt Quintana picked up the victory for Siena, working 1.2 innings and allowing just a single unearned run. Neil Fryer came on to pick up his program-record 22nd save, striking out two and allowing just one hit in the seventh.
Siena trailed 4-2 entering the bottom of the eighth, before rallying for three runs to take the lead. Fairfield scored the equalizer in the top of the ninth, but Rooney and the Saints walked off with the win in their final at bat.
Vincent Citro had two hits and two runs scored for Siena, and he led off the eighth with a sharp single to get things going. Rooney delivered a huge RBI double to left centerfield with one out in the eighth, scoring Citro and pushing Esquerra to third base. After Briam Fay was intentionally walked, Ortiz struck out swinging, bringing freshman Dan Swain to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and Siena trailing 4-3.
Swain delivered a clutch single through the right side of the infield, scoring Esquerra and Rooney. There would have been a play at the plate on Rooney had the ball not been bobbled in right field.
Fairfield pinch hitter Mac Crispino tied the game with a one-out RBI single to right off Fryer in the top of the ninth, but Siena's closer bore down and prevented further damage. He picked up the victory in the ninth thanks to some more clutch hitting.
Martis was hit to lead off the ninth, and after Citro flied out, Mike Allen lined a double into the left field corner to put the winning run on third base. Esquerra was intentionally walked to bring Rooney to the plate with the bases loaded, and the senior captain delivered with a sharp single up the middle on a 1-0 count.
Siena returns to action Tuesday at 2 p.m. when it hosts Binghamton in a non-league doubleheader.