May 22, 2008
Trenton, N.J. - Siena pounded out 26 hits and broke seemingly countless single game, season, career and MAAC Tournament records in a flawless exhibition that resulted in a 24-3 shellacking of second-seeded Manhattan in the First Round of the MAAC Baseball Championships Thursday afternoon here at Waterfront Park. The Saints advance to play #4 Rider, a 4-3 winner over top-seed Canisius, in a winner's bracket game Friday at 3 p.m.
Rick Seltzer's third inning grand slam opened the flood gates, capping off a five-run frame from which the Jaspers (31-19-1) never recovered.
An inning later, Eric Mruczek followed suit with a towering grand slam that highlighted a six-run inning giving the Saints (28-24) a commanding 11-0 lead.
The rest of the game served as a coronation for a Siena offense that has keyed a now program-record equaling 11-game winning streak. On this day, the Saints' bats were relentless throughout the batting order.
Jacob Willis set three Siena records with a five-hit performance that solidified his MAAC Player of the Year selection at last night's banquet. Willis became the first Saint to collect 70 hits in a season, toppled the career doubles mark (55) and surpassed the program's MAAC Tournament single game hit record (5). He drove in four runs and scored three times.
Seven other players had multi-hit games, led by sophomore Anthony Giansanti who finished 4-for-4 in his return to the lineup.
Lost in the offensive onslaught was the performance of Siena starter Craig Chaput who worked a complete game on the hill, scattering 13 hits and walking just one for his fifth win in six starts.
Siena turned the game into a laugher with an 11-run eighth in which 16 batters stepped to the plate. Pinch hitter Juan Amador launched a two run home run and scored twice in the frame.
MAAC First Team selection Kevin Nieto had three hits and fellow First Team pick Dom Lombardi added two for the Jaspers who saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end.
Chris Klepps (2-for-5, four runs), Moises Rivera (3-for-5, three runs), Jason DeFilippo (3-for-7, two RBI) and Kevin Quaranto (3-for-6, three runs) joined Willis, Mruczek, Seltzer and Giansanti with multi-hit games for the streaking Saints. The 24 runs scored represented the most in a MAAC Tournament game.
With a win tomorrow Siena will advance to Saturday's MAAC Championship (1 p.m.) for a chance at an automatic bid to the NCAA's.