May 10, 2003
Junior Ryan Bitter and senior Jeremy Cabot combined to allow just one earned run in 16 innings of work, as the Siena baseball team (17-31-1/15-7 MAAC) swept Marist College (28-16-1/16-7 MAAC) 2-0 and 4-2 in a conference doubleheader played in Loudonville Saturday afternoon. The victories extend Siena's league winning streak to eight games and move the Saints within a half game of the second place Red Foxes in the conference standings.
In the opener, Siena's Ryan Bitter tossed his fifth MAAC shutout of the season, lowering his conference ERA to an miniscule 0.65. Bitter struck out eight Red Foxes and scattered seven hits in his nine innings of work. He evened up his season record at 7-7 and improved to 6-1 in MAAC play.
The Saints scored both their runs in the sixth inning off Marist starter Kevin Ool. Matt Gidaly led off the frame with a five-pitch walk, and advanced to second on Kevin Roberts' sacrifice bunt. Matt Mueller then picked up the game's only RBI, guiding a 1-2 pitch to centerfield plating Gidaly. After Tony Cipolla walked, Mueller advanced to third base with two outs on a deep fly ball to center by freshman Brian Schmotzer. The advance proved critical, as Mueller would score a crucial insurance run on an ensuing wild pitch.
Marist mounted no serious rally, as the Red Foxes never got a batter past second base. Bitter picked off Eric Johnson at second in the fifth to end one minor rally, but his arm got the job done the rest of the way. Mueller was the only Saint with two hits in the opener, Johnson picked up a pair of safeties for the Red Foxes.
In the nightcap, Marist struck for an unearned run in their first at bat, as Keith Brachold reached on a fielding error by Siena's first baseman to leadoff the game and quickly advanced all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Cabot. Tim Allen's one-out sacrifice fly broke the ice and gave Marist its only lead of the day.
The Saints struck back for a pair of runs in the second inning off Chuck Bechtel, scoring first on a Scott King RBI single through the right side of the infield, and later on a fielding error. Shawn Hampton picked up one of his two hits in the inning and scored the go-ahead run.
Siena added two more in their next go-around inn the third inning. Mueller began the inning with a single to right field and Schmotzer followed two batters later with a single to left. Hampton then delivered the hit of the game, a sharp single through the right side of the infield that just scored Mueller. Schmotzer and Hampton each advanced a base on the throw home, setting the stage for a RBI ground out by King later in the frame.
The 4-1 lead held to the decisive seventh, when Cabot had his shakiest inning. After allowing back-to-back singles to start the inning, he settled in to strikeout Johnson. Brachold followed with a bleeding single top center, and the Red Foxes got their second run on a bases-loaded grounder to first by Andy Kiriakedes. Cabot left the tying run at second when he got Marist's #3 hitter Tim Allen to fly harmlessly to right field to end the game. Cabot struck out eight Red Foxes and walked just one in his fifth victory of the season and final career start at Siena Field.
The Saints and Red Foxes complete the three-game series in Siena's final home contest of the season tomorrow afternoon at noon. The four members of the Saints' senior class will be recognized in a brief ceremony preceding the game.