Siena missed a chance at a Tournament bye when it lost the second game of its regular-season ending series at Fairfield Thursday. The Saints rallied to win the opener 11-5, but lost the second game 4-3, meaning they will open play in the MAAC Tournament next Wednesday.
Game 1 - Siena 11, Fairfield 5
Siena (19-26, 12-8) rallied from 5-1 down and broke free with a six-run eighth in an 11-5 series-opening win.
Siena got four shutout innings from its bullpen as Fairfield (17-31, 9-14) failed to score over the final six innings. Taylor Ahearn had two hitless innings of relief to pick up his fourth win of the season. Matt Quintana lowered his season ERA to 1.79, allowing just one hit and fanning three over the final two innings.
Fairfield scored four times in the third to grab the early 5-1 lead. Brendan Tracy and Sal Ciccone each drove in two with hits during the rally.
Siena chipped away, scoring a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Tyler Martis following a Drpich leadoff double.
The Saints tied the game with three runs in the fifth. Bishop led off the frame with a double, and Justin Esquerra followed with a bunt single. Drpich's RBI triple chased home the second run after a Brian Fay sac fly, and Alex Tuccio's RBI single through the left side tied the game.
Tuccio started the eighth-inning rally with a one out single. Dan Lowndes was then hit by a pitch, Tyler Martis singled, and Dan Swain was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded allowing Tuccio to cross the plate with what proved to be the game-winning run. Bishop followed with the dagger, pulling his first career home run (grand slam) over the right field wall, all but sealing the victory.
Esquerra, Tuccio and Martis joined Bishop and Drpich with multi-hit games for Siena which collected 15 hits and equaled a season-high with 11 runs. Tracy finished 2-for-5 with three RBI for Fairfield.
Game 2 - Fairfield 4, Siena 3
Sebastian Salvo's three-run home run in the fifth was the difference as the Stags made sure the Saints will open play Wednesday in the MAAC Championships and need to win at least three games to get back to the Championship Series.
Esquerra was gunned down at the plate with no outs in the seventh inning, preventing what would have been the tying run from scoring. Siena's Male Student Athlete of the Year led off the seventh with a double and tried to score on Brian Fay's ensuing single. Fay advanced to second the throw home, but pinch runner Yahriel Jiminex was stranded there to end the game.
Dan Swain was 3-for-4 for the Saints and Bishop had two more hits, including a go-ahead two-run double in the fourth that gave the Saints a 3-1 lead. Martis drove home the first run earlier in the fourth with an RBI single. Esquerra collected two of the Saints' 12 hits. Fairfield has just eight off Siena starter Bryan Goossens who went the distance in defeat.
Mike Wallace scattered the 12 hits in seven innings and allowed just three runs to win his sixth game of the season for Fairfield which has won just 17 times.
The two teams wrap-up their season-ending series with a single game Friday at noon.