Siena freshman Joe Drpich is living up to his nickname. "The Big Show" homered twice Saturday, and his game-winning blast in the bottom of the seventh inning helped Siena rally to split a key conference doubleheader with visiting Monmouth. The Hawks won the first game 7-2, but Drpich and the Saints prevailed 2-1 in the nightcap.
Siena (16-22, 9-5) and Monmouth (17-20, 9-8) will play the final game of their three-game MAAC series Sunday at noon.
Game 1 - Monmouth 7, Siena 2
Monmouth broke open a close game with four late runs.
Frank Trimarco worked eight innings, allowing just three hits and an earned run while striking out 10 to pick up the win.
The Hawks took the lead for good with three runs in the third. Siena starter Ed Lewicki got the first two men out, but then gave up a walk and an infield single. Chris Gaetano and Kyle Perry followed with run-scoring doubles.
Siena chipped away at the lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth. Dan Swain's long drive to centerfield to leadoff the fourth was mishandled, and he hustled all the way to third base. Swain scored the Saints' first run on Jordan Bishop's RBI groundout.
Drpich got the Saints within a run with a towering home run to leadoff the fifth.
That's where the score stayed until the eighth when Dan Shea provided an insurance run with a sacrifice fly. The Hawks put the game away with three runs on four hits in the ninth.
Shaine Hughes was the only player with more than one hit for either team, finishing 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Lewicki was solid on the hill for Siena, working seven innings and allowing just five hits while striking out four.
Game 2 - Siena 2, Monmouth 1
Drpich's heroics wouldn't have been possible had it not been for a brilliant pitching performance from senior Matt Quintana.
Quintana tossed 6.2 innings and allowed just three hits and a run. He struck out six and came within inches of picking up a complete game shutout.
Dan Swain homered to leadoff the sixth for Siena, breaking a 0-0 tie, and bringing the Saints within three outs of victory.
Qintana got the leadoff man in the top of the seventh, but Shea followed with a double and Christian Holland walked. Shea advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Quintana got pinch hitter Ryan Bailey to ground sharply to second. Jordan Bishop flipped to Tyler Martis at short to cutdown Holland at second, but Martis' throw to first sailed wide, allowing the tying run to score. Bailey advanced to second and Kyano Cumming came on to strikeout Robbie Alessandrine to keep the game tied.
Drpich stepped to the plate with one out in the bottom of the seventh and nobody on base. His game-winning shot was an opposite field blast on a 2-2 count.