April 28, 2005
Matt Gidaly's double into the right centerfield gap with two outs in the bottom of the ninth gave the Siena baseball team its sixth straight victory, and capped off a wild week of dramatic finishes at Siena Field. The Saints scored a run in the eight to tie the game at 6-6, and Michael Ambury scampered home with the game winner in the ninth.
For the first third of the game, it appeared as if the two teams would be locked in a pitchers duel, as Siena starter Corey Muscara and Wagner starter Joe Testa matched zeroes for the first three innings. Muscara worked a perfect fourth, but catcher Eric Hildenbrand started the scoring in the bottom of the frame with a soaring homerun to left field. After Gidaly worked a two out walk, leadoff hitter Chris Klepps blasted his second homerun of the season to put the Saints on top 3-0. Klepps was the offensive star for the Saints, collecting three hits, three runs and two RBI in his return to the leadoff spot.
Wagner answered right back in the fifth off a tiring Muscara. Kris Urbano began the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on Jared Williams' one-out single. After Muscara struck out Joseph DiGeronimo to put himself on the verge of avoiding any damage, he threw an errant pickoff attempt to first that allowed Urbano to score the Seahawks first run. Joseph Malfettano singled home Williams to make the score 3-2.
The Seahawks took their first lead in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs on two hits, and chasing Muscara from the hill. Urbano singled home both runs, but reliever Thomas Hopkins retired the final two batters in order to avoid further trouble. Wagner took a 5-3 lead in the seventh when Gidaly dropped a fly ball in centerfield with two outs allowing Matt Mastriani to score all the way from first.
Siena tied the game in the seventh, as the first four batters reached base. Kelpps singled to start the inning, advanced to second when Lou Gattozzi walked, and the duo moved up a base on Gabe Perez' single to center. Perez finished with two hits on the day. Freshman Jake Willis followed with a key two run single to right centerfield, making the score 5-5.
In the eighth, Hopkins walked the first two batters and was relieved by Kevin Snyder who allowed an RBI double to Williams which gave the Seahawks the lead back. It was the only hit Snyder would allow in two innings of solid relief. He picked up the victory to improve to 1-1 on the season, and struck out four of the last five batters he faced.
The Saints mounted a one-out rally to tie the game in the eighth. Klepps singled, and Gattozzi was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second for Perez, who lined a single to left field. Klepps was temporarily held up at third, but scored when Mastrianni mishandled the ball in left. It proved to be a vital error, as reliever Jon Polonitza retired the next two batters
Polonitza got the first two batters in order in the ninth, but pinch hitter Michael Ambury continued his hot hitting with a pinch hit single to centerfield. Gidaly's heroics came on a 2-1 pitch, as he calmly laced the offering into the gap. Williams gave chase in right field, but the ball took a bad hop, jumping away from him, allowing Ambury to circle the bases and score the game winner.
Siena has won 15 of its last 20 games after starting the season 2-12. The Saints now own a 17-17 overall mark, and head south for a key three-game MAAC series with rival Iona this weekend.