Siena Baseball smashed four home runs on their way to earning a series-opening doubleheader split at Niagara. The Purple Eagles took the series-opener 7-4, with the Saints bouncing back to take the nightcap 12-3.
With the split, Siena (18-26-2) pulled to within a half game of the sixth and final MAAC Tournament spot -- currently shared by Quinnipiac and Rider -- with four league contests remaining.
Game One: Niagara 7, Siena 4
Wyatt Olson delivered a two-run double to cap a three-run third, and a two-out RBI double by Philippe Langlois highlighted a two-run seventh for Niagara (23-20) which captured the series opener.
The Purple Eagles scratched across an unearned run in the first and then opened things up with their decisive third inning.
Drpich got Siena on the board with a bases loaded, two-run single to halve the deficit in the fifth. The Saints threatened for more, but could not cash in as they stranded 12 men overall for the contest.
Meanwhile Niagara got both runs back on a pair of clutch, two-out hits in the seventh to extend their advantage back to four and hold on to the victory.
Siena scored all of its runs in just three separate innings. Ramos ignited a quick start with a three-run blast in the first, and the Saints widened the gap with a four-run third punctuated by a two-run single from Madonna. Siena then put things out of reach with five runs in the fifth, capped by a grand slam by Rhodes for the freshman's first collegiate home run.
That was more than enough support for freshman hurler Brendan White who went the distance for the second time this spring. The rookie righthander scattered 10 hits and struck out four, while walking just one.
The Saints made the most of their seven hits and seven walks, as they scored in double figures while leaving just four runners on base. Siena worked five of their walks in the first two-plus innings to chase Daniel Procopio who was charged with seven runs (six earned) after entering the contest with a 2.89 ERA on the season.
Kelly and Ramos both reached base safely in each of their combined seven plate appearances and scored three runs apiece. Kelly drew three walks, while Ramos recorded a season-high four RBI for the Saints which have totaled 57 runs over their past five victories.
Siena could potentially move into the top-six in the MAAC with just a week remaining with a series victory tomorrow. The pivotal rubber game of the series is set for a noon start.