May 27, 2005
FISHKILL, N.Y. - Siena out-hit Marist for the fourth time in four games this season. The Red Foxes have now won three of those four games. Siena starter Ken Grant was not effective, sacrificing five walks and hitting two batters in just four innings of work as Marist jumped out to 3-0 and 6-3 leads and held on for a 6-4 victory in the winner's bracket of the 2005 MAAC Championships Friday afternoon in Fishkill, N.Y.
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The Saints fall into the loser's bracket where they will meet #4 Niagara in an elimination game at 7 p.m. tonight. The winner will advance to Saturday's championship at 1 p.m., needing to defeat Marist twice to claim the title.
"This was obviously a disappointing setback for us," head coach Tony Rossi said. "We did not play nearly as well as we did yesterday in all aspects of the game. Our pitching and defense allowed them to score early, and our offense couldn't manage the timely hit."
The Saints hit into three key double plays, killing their momentum as they attempted to rally from the early deficit.
The Red Foxes scored three runs in the second without the benefit of a base hit. Grant hit a batter and walked three in the inning, before the ball got away from first baseman Rick Seltzer on potential inning-ending double play, allowing two additional runs to score.
The Saints answered with three runs in the third inning to tie the game. Catcher Eric Hildenbrand doubled with the bases loaded and two outs to tie the game. Outfielder Gabe Perez was cut down at the plate on the play to end the inning. Hildenbrand was 2-for-4 with three RBI, extending his hitting streak to 17 games.
Marist quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning as catcher Brian Towler blasted a two-run homerun to left field to put the Red Foxes up for good.
Mike Orlick relieved Grant in the fifth, and was brilliant for the Saints. Orlick pitched four scoreless innings allowing only two hits, giving the Siena offense ample opportunity to rally.
The Saints scored once in the eighth, as Hildenbrand singled home a run with runners on the corners and no outs. Marist starter Scott Chambers got Chris Klepps to hit into a double play to stall the rally.
Chambers picked up the victory, pitching 7 1/3 innings allowing seven hits four runs and five strikeouts. The Colonie High School grad walked four Saints.
Siena and Niagara meet for the first time since late March. The Saints won that series 2-1.