Siena Loses Lead With Two Outs in Ninth Inning; Falls For First Time in Nine Games
May 6, 2003
Jason Twomley fisted the first offering he saw from reliever Josh Courage just in front of Siena's (15-30-1) hard-charging centerfielder Matt Gidaly to chase home the tying run with two outs in the ninth inning, and UMass (21-16) scored the game-winner on a suicide squeeze three innings later in a 3-2, 12-inning victory over the Saints in Loudonville late Tuesday afternoon. Siena left the bases loaded in the 11th inning in another chance to pull off the upset.
The game featured two stellar efforts from each team's starting pitcher. Siena's Josh Copskey allowed jut one earned run and four hits in his seven innings of work, before giving way to Dale Szachewicz and eventually Courage, who suffered the defeat. UMass starter Mike Crane went 10 innings, tossing 149 pitches and allowing just one earned (two total) run. He struck out 10 Saints, but walked away with a no-decision as Scott Ratliff silenced the Saints with two scoreless, albeit perilous, extra innings.
Siena struck for the game's first run in its initial at bat, as Kevin Roberts led off with a sharp single to centerfield that evaded Twomley and went all the way to the wall. A hustling Roberts advanced all the way to third on the play, and came around to score later in the inning when Crane hit three straight batters-one of a couple bouts with wildness the sophomore had on the day.
The Minutemen evened the score with some old-fashioned baseball in the fourth inning. Jeff Alteri began the frame with a single to left field, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, third on a ground out and came around to score the equalizer on a bad-hop single that eluded third baseman Tony Cipolla by Adam Stojanowski.
Siena notched its second run in the sixth inning when Kevin Roberts beat out what could have been an inning ending double play, allowing Brent Kunkle to cross the dish. Roberts was joined by Gidaly, the reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week, as the only Siena players with multi-hit games.
Siena appeared on the verge of working its way out of the UMass ninth, after Courage got Stojanowski to fly out with Matt Boulanger-who would ultimately score the tying run-on second base. Twonley had other ideas though, and his single was the catalyst for Siena Field's second straight 12 inning Tuesday game.
The Minutemen again executed in the 12th to score the game-winner, as Sean Sarno, who had pinch run for the Minutemen's #3 hitter Chris Morgan in the eighth inning, laid down a perfectly time squeeze bunt. Tom Ellerbrook, who broke with the pitch scored the decisive run.
Siena returns to action tomorrow afternoon at West Point in a 3:30 affair with Army. The Saints host archrival Marist in a critical three-game set to close out the home portion of their schedule this weekend.