May 20, 2010
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - With its backs firmly pressed against the proverbial wall, the Siena baseball team responded in the biggest of ways Thursday, bouncing back from a 7-5 game one deficit to split its doubleheader at Manhattan with a do-or-die 6-3 victory in the second game. Niagara and Canisius also split today, meaning Siena needs a win tomorrow against the Jaspers and a Canisius win at Niagara to claim the fourth and final spot in the MAAC Tournament..
Siena and Manhattan combined for 10 errors and 13 hit batters, but timely pitching kept the scoring fairly low for the offense-dominated MAAC, especially considering two of the league's top hitting teams were doing battle.
Game 1: Manhattan 7, Siena 5
The Jaspers broke open a 1-1 game with three runs in the fourth and added two in the sixth to take a commanding 6-1 lead, and held off a late Siena charge to win comfortably, 7-5. The Saints out-hit Manhattan 11-10, but their defense let them down.
Eric Luksis pitched seven strong innings, allowing four runs to pick up the win for Manhattan. Kyle Sumple went six innings, allowing six runs, four earned, in suffering the loss.
Anthony Vega had two hits and scored three runs for Manhattan. Mike Onorati had two hits and two RBI and Nick Camastro had two hits and a run scored.
Onorati, Kevin Nieto and Chad Salem picked up RBI in Manhattan's three-run fourth. Their sixth inning rally was aided by a couple of outfield misplays and an RBI opposite field single by Anthony Armenio.
Quaranto doubled home a run to start Siena's seventh inning response, and Larry Balkwill delivered a two-run single to make it 6-4. The Jaspers tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the frame and Siena rallied to score in the ninth before succumbing to account for the 7-5 final.
Game 2: Siena 6, Manhattan 3
Ryan Poplawski pitched 5.2 masterful innings and Anthony Giasnanti came in from right field to close the door and record the final four outs for his sixth save of the season as the Saints rolled to a 6-3 win.
Dan Paolini blasted his nation-leading 26th home run of the season to highlight a four-run rally in the top of the seventh that pushed Siena's lead from 2-1 to 6-1. The ball Paolini hit was a moon-shot, easily carrying the deep left field wall and rustling the trees some 450-feet from home plate.
Siena led 2-0 after scoring single runs in the second and third. Kyle Baldani drove home the first with a sacrifice fly and Anthony Giansanti homered with one out in the third to make it a two-run game. Manhattan scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead in half, but Poplawski worked out of further trouble.
Poplawski allowed just two hits and one unearned run in his 5.2 innings and did not walk a batter, though he hit four. Giansanti relieved him after he had hit consecutive men with two outs in the sixth, and he hit the first batter he faced to load the bases. Giansanti then buckled down and struck out Armenio to end the threat.
Siena exploded in the sixth as Giansanti doubled home a run with one out, Fish singled him home and Paolini followed with the decisive blow.
Manhattan made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh, scoring the first two runs credited to Giasnanti's ERA all season before he struck out Anthony Vega on three pitches to end the game.
The series split means both teams will be playing for a MAAC Tournament berth tomorrow. Manhattan is in with a victory, and Siena advances with a win and a Canisius victory.