POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – The Marist baseball team split a doubleheader against the Siena Saints at McCann Field on Friday, winning Game 1 4-3 before falling in Game 2 6-5, to close out the 2017 regular season on Senior Day.
With the results, the Red Foxes close out the regular season with an overall record of 29-21 (16-8 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) and will be the #2 seed in the MAAC Championship May 24th-27th at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls, NY. Marist will open the tournament on Thursday, May 25th against the highest seeded winner from Wednesday at 12 PM on Thursday. The team's 16 MAAC wins are the most since 2013 when they finished with 17.
In the day's first game, senior Tyler Kirkpatrick led the Red Foxes offensively with one hit, one run scored and two RBI. Freshman Patrick Lightner had two hits, one run scored and one RBI, junior Matt Iantosca had two hits and two runs scored, redshirt junior Greg Kocinski and junior Andrew Rouse each finished with a hit a piece and sophomore Randy Taveras had an RBI.
On the mound, junior Charlie Jerla picked up his ninth win, throwing five innings while giving up three runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Junior Tony Romanelli picked up his sixth save, pitching two innings and gave up no runs on two hits with four strikeouts.
In Game 2, Kirkpatrick again led the team at the plate with three hits, including a two run home run, one run scored and two RBI. Lightner picked up three hits, one run scored and one RBI, Rouse had two hits, one run scored and one RBI and sophomore Frankie Gregoire had a hit and one RBI. Taveras finished with two hits and one run scored, redshirt freshman Tyler Kapuscinski picked up a hit and a run scored and Kocinski finished with a hit.
On the hill, senior Sean Kennan made his final start at McCann Field and pitched six innings and gave up one run on four hits with five strikeouts. Redshirt junior Scott Boches threw two innings and gave up one run on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts, senior Ryan Thomas also made his last appearance at home and pitched to one batter, giving up a hit and a run scored and junior Mike Coss got his fourth loss, pitching one inning, while giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits with one walk.
The Saints opened the scoring in the top of the third on back-to-back leadoff singles, a fly out with the runner advancing from second to third and an RBI single.
Marist answered in the bottom of the inning when Iantosca led off with a single, Lightner followed with a second single that advanced Iantosca to third and then advanced to second on an error by the center fielder. Kirkpatrick followed with a two RBI single and advanced to second on an error by the center fielder. During the next at bat, Kirkpatrick stole third and Taveras followed with an RBI sac fly to give the Red Foxes the 3-1 lead.
One inning later, the Red Foxes made it 4-1 when Iantosca singled up the middle with two outs and advanced to second on a wild pitch, before Lightner laced a single to third base that bounced off the third baseman and allowed Iantosca to score from second.
In the top of the fifth, Siena trimmed the deficit to 4-3 on single, wild pitch, an RBI double and RBI single.
In the top of the seventh, Romanelli came out for his second inning of work and gave up a leadoff single. The next batter grounded out to second, advancing the runner to second. With the tying run in scoring position, Romanelli slammed the door, striking out the next batter and getting the following hitter to pop out to the shortstop to preserve the 4-3 win.
Marist opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when Rouse led off with his second home run of the season, an absolute blast to left field.
The Saints tied it up in the top of the sixth with back-to-back one out singles and an RBI sac fly.
In the bottom of the inning, the Red Foxes regained the lead when Rouse led off with a walk and Kapuscinski singled left center to set up men on first and second. Following a pitching change, Iantosca moved the runners to second and third with a sac bunt and two batters later, Lightner hit an RBI single to second for the 2-1 lead.
Following a Boches for Keenan pitching change, Siena tied it up again in the top of the seventh on a one out walk, a fielder's choice with everyone safe and an RBI single.
For the second consecutive inning, Marist regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Taveras reached on a hit by pitch and advanced to second and third on an error by the pitcher on a failed pickoff attempt. Gregoire followed with an RBI sac fly and it was 3-2 Red Foxes.
The Saints came to bat in the top of the ninth down by a run and scored four to take a 6-3 lead on a single, a fielder's choice that allowed the single to reach third when an error by the shortstop got away from second base, a walk, a three RBI triple and an RBI sac fly.
Down by three runs in the bottom of the ninth, Lightner led off with a single through the right side and Kirkpatrick followed with a two run blast to left center to bring Marist to within one run. Two batters later, Gregoire singled to up the middle and following a fly out, Rouse singled through the left side to put the tying run at second. Freshman Matt Rubayo pinch ran for Gregoire at second, Kapuscinski reached on an error by the first baseman to load the bases but a fly out by the following batter ended the rally just short.
Up next, the Red Foxes will be the #2 seed in the MAAC Championship May 24th-27th at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls, NY. Marist will open the tournament on Thursday, May 25th against the highest seeded winner from Wednesday at 12 PM on Thursday.