May 8, 2005
Freshman Chris Klepps went 4-for-5, and senior Josh Burnett worked eight strong innings as the first place Siena baseball team completed its second consecutive conference sweep with a 7-3 win over Saint Peter's in Jersey City Sunday. The Saints will host second place Marist this coming weekend in a three-game set that could determine the MAAC regular-season champion.
Saint Peter's (4-38/2-18) took a 1-0 lead to the fourth as Frank Salvano plated Kevin Kallert with an RBI groundout in the second. Rick Seltzer tied the game in the fourth with a sacrifice fly after Gabe Perez tripled with one out.
The Saints (23-19/15-3) scored three times in the sixth to take the lead for good. Seltzer and Eric Hildenbrand began the inning with consecutive doubles, the second of which gave Siena its first lead of the day. Freshman Michael Ambury singled home Hildenbrand, and he scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.
Meanwhile, Burnett settled down on the hill, and did not allow another run in his eight innings of work. He struck out seven, and scattered eight hits to move to 4-3 on the season.
The Siena bats added plenty of insurance in the eighth inning, striking for three more runs. Bill Lazio singled home Hildenbrand, who finished the game 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. Klepps and Perez also had RBI hits in the inning. Perez was 2-for-4 at the plate, as the Saints pounded out 13 hits to go along with their seven runs.
Burnett worked out of trouble in the eighth, stranding two runners in his final inning of work. The Peacocks scored twice off reliever Craig Chaput in their final at bat of the game.
The Saints have won 21 of their last 28 games after beginning the year 2-12. They are 15-3 in the league, percentage points ahead of Marist which holds a 17-4 league mark. The top four teams qualify for the conference championships in Fishkill May 26-28. Siena is 4.5 games ahead of fifth place Niagara (11-8) with six games remaining, but does finish the season against preseason favorite LeMoyne.