Baseball Suffers Key Loss in Doubleheader Split at Canisius
May 1, 2004
BUFFALO - Siena pounded out 21 hits and scored 13 runs to support preseason MAAC Pitcher of the Year Ryan Bitter in the opener, but couldn't muster any offensive firepower in a disappointing 4-2 loss in the backend of a doubleheader at Canisius Saturday. The Saints coasted to a 13-4 win in the first game before falling 4-2 in the second.
In the opener, five Siena players collected three hits or more, and freshman Steve Ballas belted the first two homeruns of his collegiate career. Ballas' first homerun came in the second inning, giving Siena a 3-1 lead, his second was a solo shot in the eighth. Tony Cipolla launched his team-leading sixth homerun in the seventh and Shawn Hampton joined the hit party with a round-tripper in the fifth.
Hampton had a game-high four hits, Cipolla was joined by Kevin Roberts, Scott King and Matt Gidaly with three knocks for the victors. Ballas and Brian Schmotzer each posted two-hit games. Cipolla picked up his 200th career hit in the victory, becoming the third Saint to do so in the last 11 days (Blake Hanan, Roberts.)
The onslaught provided more than enough insurance for Bitter, who after sacrificing a run in the first settled into a nice rhythm, scattering six hits and two walks over eight innings of work in which he struck out four. Harpreet Padda was 3-for-3 in the loss for the Griffs.
Padda began the nightcap with a homerun off Siena starter Ken Grant as Canisius quickly seized control of the seven-inning game with two runs in the first.
Although Siena out-hit the home team 7-5, they struggled in getting the timely hit all game. The Saints stranded 10 runners, compared to an efficient two men left on base for Canisius.
Cipolla and Gidaly continued their hot hitting with a pair of base hits in the nightcap and Scott King drove in the team's only earned with a fifth inning sacrifice fly. The Golden Griffins padded their lead with single runs in the third and sixth, providing insurance for pitchers Jordan Neufeld and Kevin Smith who combined to give Canisius just its third win of the season (3-32/3-14 MAAC).
The two teams round out the three-game set with a single game at 3 p.m. Sunday.