Siena is a win away from returning to the NCAA Tournament. Dan Swain's RBI single with one out in the 10th inning delivered freshman Dan Lowndes with the game-winning run as the Saints shook off a disastrous ninth inning to defeat Quinnipiac 6-5 and advance to the MAAC Championship Series for the third straight season.
Quinnipiac scored four times in the ninth, tying the game on three straight one-out bases loaded walks, but Siena foiled a squeeze attempt and got a strikeout to keep the game tied and force extras.
Reliever Kyano Cummings gave up the three bases loaded walks, but he got the big strikeout and set down the Bobcats in order in the 10th to pick up the win.
"We'd been playing pretty much perfect ball up until the ninth inning today," Siena coach Tony Rossi said. "You get to that situation where they came back and scored four runs to tie it up and it's a credit to our kids how they came back."
Siena starter Ed Lewicki gave up just one run and four hits in his first eight innings.
"We wanted six or seven out of him (Lewicki) today and he gave us eight solid," Rossi said. "He did what we wanted him to do - not waste our bullpen."
Quinnipiac started the ninth with three straight singles chasing Lewicki from the game, and after a RBI fielder's choice ground out, Lou Ianotti reached on catcher's interference and Cummings lost command of the zone.
Freshman Dan Lowndes led off the 10th with a single up the middle and advanced to second on Tyler Martis' perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. Swain's game-winning hit, his fourth of the game, came on a 2-2 count.
Siena took control of the game with two runs in the first and third innings, grabbing an early 4-0 lead. Brian Fay tripled home the first run of the game after a failed sacrifice and scored on Dave Hoffmann's RBI single. Justin Esquerra had an RBI single in the third. Joe Drpich delivered the fourth run with a deep sac fly.
Ben Gibson's double plated Quinnipiac's first run in the fifth, but the Saints got that run back in the seventh on another RBI hit by Fay. The Saints' senior first baseman joined Swain with four hits.
Siena has reached the MAAC Championship series in each of its last five MAAC Tournament appearances (2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015). The Saints won the title for the first time since 1999 last season (fifth overall), earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where they picked up the program's first NCAA victory. They will need to win just once Saturday to punch their ticket back to the NCAAs.
"Well, as we saw last year (when Siena came out of the loser's bracket and won twice on Championship Sunday) it's not over until it's over," Rossi said. "You've got to play every game hard like it's the last one, and that's what we'll plan to do tomorrow."