May 17, 2014
Siena picked a great time to play one of its best games of the season, dispatching of Quinnipiac 4-1 Saturday to complete its best MAAC regular-season in 10 years and lock up a bye in this coming week's conference tournament.
The Saints (22-30, 17-7) won a MAAC-best seven (of eight) league series this season, and finished second behind only defending champ Canisius. The Championships will be contested Wednesday through Saturday at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J., but Siena won't open play until noon Thursday thanks to their season-ending triumph.
The veteran Saints got great play from their senior class Saturday, but sophomore Bryan Goossens delivered the top performance. Goossens pitched seven strong innings, allowing just six hits and one run to pick up his third win of the season. Reliable reliever Matt Quintana pitched a scoreless eighth, and senior Neil Fryer closed the door, upping his record-setting save total to 24 with a scoreless ninth.
Senior Mike Allen went 3-for-5 to improve his MAAC average to a team-best .358 and solidify his case for one of the All-MAAC teams at second base. Classmate Andres Ortiz had two hits and senior captains Vincent Citro and John Rooney each hit safely in their last game at Siena Field. Rooney broke the program's games played record when he took the field for the 221st time.
Rob Pescitelli went 4-for-4 for Quinnipiac which will also be headed to Lakewood despite being picked last in the coaches' Preseason Poll.
Neither team committed an error and there were several stellar defensive plays. Tyler Martis and Citro each made running catches in foul territory and Allen made a diving stop at second on a hotshot off the bat of Lou Iannotti to leadoff the eighth.
Siena took a 3-0 lead with three runs in the third. Citro was hit by a pitch, stole second, then advanced to third and scored on two wild pitches. Ortiz and promising freshman Dan Swain each delivered hard run-scoring singles later in the inning. Swain saw his season average rise over .300 with two hits in the finale.
Iannotti and Pescitelli singled in the fourth, and the former came around to score the Bobcats' only run of the game on an RBI groundout. The Saints got a much-needed insurance run when the clutch Citro delivered a run-scoring hit in the eighth.
The Saints have gone 22-13 since starting the season 0-17 against one of the toughest non-league schedules in the country. The Saints played their first 34 games away from home and their 36 true road games this year are the most in Division I.