April 29, 2012
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - What a difference a day makes. Siena Baseball woke up yesterday morning in last place in the MAAC. They'll go to bed tonight just one game back of fourth. The Saints completed the sweep of Niagara Sunday afternoon in thrilling fashion, 11-10 in 10 innings winning on a Ryan Metzler walk-off single.
Hosts of next month's MAAC Championships at Joe Bruno Stadium in nearby Troy, the Saints (16-29, 7-8) have put themselves in great position to make a run at securing a bid. Despite a logjam in the middle of the conference standings, Siena now sits just a single game back of the fourth and final MAAC Tournament spot with three conference series remaining.
Metzler served as Sunday's hero for the Saints, capping off a tremendous game. With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the tenth, John Rooney singled and immediately stole second setting up the winning play. Metzler then calmly singled through the left side of the infield and Rooney beat the throw home as Siena celebrated a sweep over the Purple Eagles for the second straight year.
Two-out magic was the theme of the day for the Saints. Trailing 7-3 with two outs and the bases empty in the sixth, seven consecutive Saints reached base safely. Rooney delivered the big blow with a bases-clearing three-run double to cap a six-run frame and give the Saints a 9-7 lead.
But Niagara (15-25, 5-12) would not go away quietly. The Purple Eagles scored twice to tie the game at 9-9 in the eighth and after Siena reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning, Niagara tied the game yet again in the ninth to send the game to extra innings.
Rooney finished with four hits and four RBI, while Mike Fish added three hits and drove in three runs. Fish finished the series with eight hits including his first two homers of the season and posted seven RBI.
Ryan McCauley led a balanced offensive attack for Niagara with three hits while Joel Klock and Jon Wilson each drove in a pair of runs for the Purple Eagles which dropped their seventh straight.
Matt Gage made his second consecutive weekend start for the Saints and was charged for six runs (four earned) in 3.2 innings and struck out five. C.J. Sohl was excellent in relief, allowing just one hit and one earned run in four innings, allowing the Saints to come back.
The Saints return to action Tuesday for a midweek game at Bryant. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.