May 16, 2004
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Keith Brachold's one-out double to left centerfield scored Travis Musolf with the winning run, capping off a two-run ninth inning rally that lifted Marist to a 3-2 MAAC victory over Siena Sunday afternoon. Senior Tony Cipolla collected two of the Saints' five hits in the heartbreaking setback that dropped Siena into a three-way tie for third place in the MAAC standings with only conference front-runner LeMoyne remaining on the 2004 docket.
The Saints scored both runs in the second inning with aggressive base running off Marist starter Lucas Robinson. Scott King began the second inning with an opposite field double to right centerfield, and promptly scored on Blake Hanan's ensuing single through the right side of the infield. Hanan scored all the way from second base on a two-out infield single to third base by Matt Gidaly. The senior shortstop never stopped running on the play and just beat the throw home.
Robinson found his rhythm after the second inning, and allowed just one hit the rest of the way in picking up the complete game victory. Siena starter John Lannan was equally effective, working out of constant trouble with key pitches and solid defensive support.
The Red Foxes closed to within a run in the fourth inning on Jimmy Board's two-out RBI single. The score remained 2-1 until the decisive ninth inning.
Lannan scattered nine hits and two walks in five and a third innings of work, but allowed just the single run. Senior Josh Copskey relieved him in the sixth with two runners on base, but worked out of the jam with a nifty pick-off move to second base.
Copskey allowed just single hits in the seventh and eighth inning, but the Siena offense struggled to provide any additional insurance. The bottom of the ninth inning began with a spectacular diving grab by senior Shawn Hampton in left field. Andy Kiriakedes followed with one of his three hits, a tide-turning triple that glanced off the glove of right fielder Scott King who covered a good portion of right centerfield to make an attempt on the ball. Musolf followed with a game tying single through the middle of a drawn in infield setting the stage for Brachold's heroics.
Justin Lepore joined Musolf, Board and Kiriakedes with a multi-hit game for Marist. Only Cipolla reached base more than once for Siena, which managed just six hits in the final 17 innings of the series.
Copskey suffered his second loss of the season despite three innings of solid relief. The Siena pitching staff did its job all weekend, holding the potent Marist offense to just six runs in the three-game set.
With the victory, Marist assumes sole possession of second place in the MAAC with a 15-9 record. Siena falls into a third place tie with both Manhattan and Niagara with a 13-9 MAAC mark. The top four teams advance to the conference championships in Fishkill May 27-29. Manhattan and Niagara each own the tie-breaker over Siena by virtue of head-to-head competition earlier this season. Siena concludes regular-season play later this week as they host first place LeMoyne in a three-game set in Loudonville Thursday and Friday at noon.