Senior centerfielder Dan Swain capped a career performance by blasting the game-winning, three-run home run with the Saints down to their final out to lead Siena Baseball to a dramatic 8-7 win at Saint Peter’s. Swain reached base safely in all six plate appearances, going a perfect 5-for-5 at the dish with a pair of home runs, five RBI, and four runs scored.
Swain’s heroics served as an exclamation point to a much needed series sweep for Siena (17-24-2, 8-10), which pulled to within a game and a half of sixth place in the MAAC Standings with six league games remaining. The top-six finishers qualify for the MAAC Tournament later this month in Western New York. The Saints currently stand in a three-way tie for eighth with both Manhattan and Monmouth, which have accounted for Siena’s other two MAAC series victories so far this spring.
The Saints scored single runs in each of the first five innings en route to totaling 37 for the series, marking the program’s most runs scored in a three-game set since tallying 43 in a sweep at NYIT on Mar. 20-21, 2010. As a result, Siena had a chance to break the game open early once again, but left the bases loaded in three of the first four innings.
That left the door open for Saint Peter’s (0-32, 0-18) which pushed across three runs in the fifth to rally within 5-4. The Peacocks would ultimately score six unanswered runs, taking a 6-5 lead in the seventh following back-to-back singles by Mike Ionta and Nick Ciocco, and added an insurance run in the eighth to harbor a two-run lead heading into the ninth in their quest for their first win of 2017.
But with two on and two out in the top of the ninth, Swain smashed a no-doubter to the deepest part of the ballpark in straight away center for the decisive hit. The blast punctuated a monster series for Swain in which he totaled nine hits to move into seventh place in program history with 226 for his career. He also scored nine runs, and reached base safely 13 times in the series.
Freshman Danny Hobbs shut the door in the bottom of the ninth to record his fifth save, marking the second most by a rookie closer in program history.
Junior leftfielder Dan Lowndes added a pair of hits for the Saints which have now won 10 of their last 12 vs. Saint Peter’s, while out-scoring the Peacocks by a whopping 116-43 margin to average 9.7 runs during that span.
James Spadaccini was one of four Saint Peter’s batters to record a multi-hit performance as part of a 13-hit effort, going 3-for-4 with both a pair of runs scored and RBI.
Siena continues its busy road stretch featuring seven games in just six days, when they travel to Binghamton for their final non-conference tilt Wednesday at 2 p.m.