May 9, 2004
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y - Sophomore John Lannan tossed nine innings of five-hit ball, allowing just one earned run, and classmate Matt Gidaly blooped a two-out single to right centerfield scoring what proved to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Siena finished off a three-game sweep of visiting Saint Peter's 5-4 on Sunday. Tony Cipolla had three hits, raising his team-leading batting average to .363, and pacing Siena's 13-hit attack. The Saints overcame five costly errors and six Saint Peter's stolen bases to eek out the must-have win.
Following a two and a half hour rain delay, the two teams began play and each pitcher established control of the game from the start. Lannan didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, and Saint Peter's starter Sean Spicer settled down after a 26-pitch first inning in which he stranded a runner.
The Peacocks took their first lead of the series in the fourth inning, with aggressive base running. Lou Proietti broke up the no-hitter with an infield single moving teammate Rob Scordato, who had reached with a walk, to third base. With two outs, Saint Peter's executed its first of two successful double steal attempts to score the game's first run. Cipolla tried to gun down Proietti at second, but the ball bounced into centerfield allowing Scordato, who was running on the throw, to score from third without a play.
Scott King got the run back for the Saints in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out double to right centerfield that scored Cipolla. The run was unearned, as Cipolla had advanced a base on the first of four Saint Peter's passed balls. The Saints took the lead in the fifth with another unearned tally. Matt Gidaly doubled to turn the lineup over to leadoff man Kevin Roberts with two outs. Roberts laid a perfect bunt down the third base line, that Spicer fielded and made an ill-advised throw that sailed high of first base allowing Gidaly to score from second.
Siena put the bats to work in the sixth, scoring two runs on four hits to assume a 4-1 lead. Cipolla began the inning with a single, and he scored on Blake Hanan's line drive single to center. Lou Gatozzi, who had his third multi-hit game of the series, followed with a sharp single through the left side of the infield, and Steve Ballas's single to centerfield scored Hanan with the Saints fourth run. Siena did leave the bases loaded, as Roberts grounded back to the mound to end the threat.
Saint Peter's took advantage of three Siena errors in a sloppy seventh inning to tie the game with three unearned runs. Wayne Guarino's safety squeeze bunt turned out to be the only hit of the inning, as Lannan sprinted from the mound and failed with a back hand attempt to cut down the run at the plate. Jeff Prosdocimo scored the equalizer on another double steal with runners at the corners and two outs.
In the decisive eighth inning, Gatozzi singled with one out and was pinch run for by John Wilkes. Wilkes advanced to second base on a passed ball after Ballas failed to get down a sacrifice bunt on two Spicer offerings. Gidaly followed with the clutch hit to provide the game's final run. Lannan struck out six of the last nine batters he faced, retiring eight of them to seal the deal. Spicer suffered the hard luck loss, also going the distance and allowing just two earned runs.
In Lannan's nine inning of work, he struck out eight and walked just one, lowering his team-best ERA to 3.69, while improving to a team-best 7-2 on the season.
Siena returns to action in a crucial MAAC series at Marist next weekend.
Series Notes: Siena now owns a 15-1 all-time series edge over Saint Peter's...Lanan is 5-0 with a 2.13 ERA in six MAAC appearances this season...The Saints out-hit the Peacocks 36 -21 and outscored them 19-8 in the three games...Four Siena players batted .400 or better in the series led by Gattozzi (.667) (also: Gidaly, Cipolla, Hanan)...Siena assured itself of being in no worse than sole possession of fourth in the MAAC standings when the remaining conference weekend series' are completed tomorrow...The top four teams advance to the MAAC Tournament in Fishkill May 27-29.