May 3, 2003
Ryan Bitter continued his mastery of conference foes with his fourth MAAC shutout of the season in the opener, and the Saints (14-29-2/12-7 MAAC) fought back from a 3-1 deficit with five runs in the third to take the nightcap and complete a doubleheader sweep of conference rival Canisius (3-32-1/2-17 MAAC) in Loudonville Saturday afternoon. The Saints, now undefeated in their last seven games, won the opener 8-0 and held on for a 6-3 victory in the nightcap.
Bitter went the distance in the opener, picking up his fifth complete game of the season while lowering his conference earned run average to 0.77. The junior college transfer struck out seven batters and scattered seven hits in earning his fourth straight win.
Siena got all the runs they would need as it turned out in their first at bat. Brian Schmotzer's sacrifice fly drove home the first run, and Scott King's single accounted for the second tally. Canisius starter Jeremy Dracup then settled down and did not allow another run until the bottom of the eighth inning. The Saints broke open a close game in their final at bat with six runs, which included three long balls. Blake Hanan's three-run blast started the rally and chased Dracup from the mound. Freshman Matt Gidaly and junior Shawn Hampton added home runs later in the inning.
In the nightcap, King picked up his second victory of the week and of his career, working 6 2/3 of the seven innings. Tony Cipolla's sacrifice fly gave Siena a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, bot the Griffs struck back with three runs in their next two at bats. Kevin Smith singled home one of Canisius' two unearned runs in the third inning.
Siena rebounded with a five spot in their third at bat, ending the scoring for the afternoon. Clean-up hitter Brian Schmotzer singled home the first two runs of the frame, and the Saints took advantage of erratic Golden Griffin pitching to plate the next three. Canisius' pitching staff walked seven batters and hit three in the nightcap.
The two teams will complete the three game series with a single game at Siena Field tomorrow at noon.