Siena Baseball mounted a four-run rally over the final two innings capped by a three-run ninth to come from behind and steal a huge conference series triumph with a 5-3 win in the rubber game at Niagara. With the victory, the Saints moved into a three-way tie for the sixth and final MAAC Tournament spot with just one week remaining in the regular season.
For the second time this week, Siena (19-26-2, 10-11) found itself trailing and down to its final out with senior centerfielder Dan Swain stepping up to the dish. And for the second time Swain delivered, smashing a hot shot to third which resulted in both the game-tying and go-ahead runs scoring. On Monday with the Saints trailing by two and down to their final out at Saint Peter’s, Swain had blasted the go-ahead three-run home run.
Junior second baseman Jordan Bishop followed with an RBI single to plate an insurance run for Siena which picked up a much-needed win in their quest to qualify for the MAAC Tournament. The Saints now stand even with both Quinnipiac and Rider for sixth place in the MAAC Standings, with just one conference series remaining for each team. The Bobcats are set to travel to Boston College for non-conference action this weekend, before hosting defending MAAC Champion and current league frontrunner Fairfield to conclude the regular season. Meanwhile Rider wraps up its league schedule this weekend when it hosts Monmouth. The Hawks enter that series just a game and a half back of Siena, Quinnipiac and Rider in a tight fight for a Tournament berth.
The Saints led a pitcher’s duel 1-0 into the seventh inning behind Chris Amorosi. The senior southpaw lasted six-plus innings and scattered six hits and two runs while striking out three without issuing a walk in receiving a no-decision.
But Niagara (23-21, 11-10) scored all three of its runs in the home half of the frame to take the lead. Trevor McCauley led off the inning with the game-tying home run, and Geoff Seto added the go-ahead RBI single.
Siena closed the gap to 3-2 in the eighth on Joe Drpich’s 10th home run of the season, as the junior became the first Saint to eclipse double digits in dingers since Mike Fish finished with 12 in 2013. The home run also marked the 26th of the junior’s career, as Drpich moved into a tie for fifth with Jake Willis ’08 on the program’s all-time home runs list.
Sophomore hurler Dylan D’Anna tossed 2.1 innings in getting credit for the win for Siena, while freshman closer Danny Hobbs got the final two outs to record the save and move into a tie with Dan Lazzaroni ’08 for the program’s rookie saves record with six.
Nate Mascellino went seven strong innings allowing just one unearned run for the Purple Eagles which suffered just their third and fourth home losses all season over the last two days at the hands of the Saints.
Siena has now won 10 consecutive conference road series dating back to 2015, and will almost certainly need to capture an 11th straight if they hope to have a shot at qualifying for the MAAC Tournament for a fifth straight season. The Saints conclude regular season action next week, with a decisive three-game series at MAAC rival Marist. Action begins with a single game Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in Poughkeepsie.