Lannan Leads Saints Past Manhattan in MAAC Tourney Opener
May 26, 2005
FISHKILL, N.Y. - His teammates thought he got snubbed. John Lannan let his pitching do the talking. A day after being left off the MAAC First Team, Siena's junior ace fired a five-hit shutout, pacing the Saints' 5-0 win over third-seeded Manhattan at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill Thursday afternoon. Fans can listen to tomorrow's broadcast live on the web by following the link at the bottom of the release.
"John really carried us today," veteran head coach Tony Rossi said. "He was the difference, and we were able to do enough offensively to let him work with a lead for most of the game. This was the clutch, shutdown performance we were looking for."
Lannan, who was named to the MAAC Second Team after a perfect 8-0 MAAC mark in a miniscule 1.98 conference ERA, struck out eight in his nine innings of work. He allowed two hits to MAAC Rookie and Player of the Year Matt Rizzotti, and only three to the rest of the Jaspers. Manhattan led the MAAC and ranked 73d nationally this season with a .304 team batting average.
Junior Scott King had nearly as many hits as the Jaspers in his return to the Saints lineup. The right fielder went 4-for-5 with three RBI to lead Siena's 11-hit attack after missing the final 10 games of the season with a quad injury. He also stole two bases.
Siena stayed in control of the game with aggressive baseball. The Saints used the hit-and-run three times on the afternoon, and twice they executed it to perfection. Billy Lazio followed a King single in the second with a sharp hit through the vacated right side of the Manhattan infield on the first hit and run of the day, setting the stage for the game's first run.
Matt Gidaly began the fifth inning with a double over centerfielder Eric Nieto's head. He scored the second run of the game on King's ensuing single to right.
The Saints could have done more damage offensively, but left 12 runners on base in the game. Manhattan rarely threatened, leaving just six men on base, four in the final two innings.
King's third hit of the game produced the team's third run in the sixth. His opposite field single chased home catcher Eric Hildenbrand, giving the Saints a commanding 3-0 lead. In the eight, the Saints completed the scoring with opposite field hits by King and Jake Willis. Willis and King drove in all five Siena runs.
Hildenbrand continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 day, pushing his Siena season-long hitting streak to 16 games. First Team All-MAAC selection Gabe Perez broke out of a minor slump with a sharp single and two walks.
"Tomorrow's game becomes that much more important," Rossi said. "The key is to stay in the winner's bracket and keep your pitchers sharp. Today was a great start in that direction."
The start of the game was delayed one hour and 15 minutes due to rain. The Saints advance to play #1 Marist at 3 p.m. on Friday.