Fairfield took a MAAC doubleheader from Siena in Loudonville Friday, likely ending the Saints hopes of reaching the Tournament they will host later this month. Siena rallied in both games, but the Stags held on for 7-4 and 5-3 wins.
Siena (18-33, 8-12) has four league games remaining, starting with tomorrow's Senior Day date with the Stags at noon.
Fairfield got off to a fast start. Alex Witkus and Anthony Hajjar each singled sharply in the Stags' first at bat of the day, and Ryan Plourde followed with a towering home run to left center. They added a run in the second, and one in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead, appearing to take firm control of the game.
Siena rallied furiously in the seventh. Tyler Bell drove home the Saints' first run with a sacrifice fly to center, and Vincent Citro singled home two to make it a 5-3 game. With one out and the bases loaded, Larry Balkwill delivered a single through left side of the Fairfield infield. Tyler Bell scored easily from third, but Citro was gunned down at the plate, keeping the score 5-4.
Siena never could get the equalizer, and the Stags tacked on two big insurance runs in the ninth to account for the 7-4 final.
Plourde's first inning blast was the start of a monster game at the plate. The Stags' cleanup man went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBI.
Citro had two hits for the Saints, and CJ Sohl pitched well in relief, tossing 4.1solid innings that allowed Siena to rally.
Fairfield led 3-0 after scoring single runs in the second, third and fifth innings of the night cap, and again appeared to be on its way to a comfortable win before the Saints rallied.
Siena tied the game with three runs in the sixth inning. The big blow was Larry Balkwill's two-run home run to left field. Ken Kirsnher delivered the game-tying run with a long sacrifice fly to left.
Fairfield again had an answer in its final at bat. Witkus singled to start the seventh and was sacrificed to second. After Plourde drew a one out walk, Neil Fryer relieved Ed Lewicki and promptly balked the two runners to second and third. Fryer bared down and got Tyler Wosleger to fly to shallow left, keeping the go-ahead runs on base. He then got ahead of Jack Giannini 1-2 with two outs, but Giannini came through with the day's biggest hit - a sharp two-run single to right that helped the Stags complete the sweep 5-3.
Siena put the first two men on in the seventh, but couldn't get a bunt down and got a runner picked off, completing a tough day that likely ended any postseason aspirations.