April 30, 2011
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist baseball team swept a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) doubleheader from Niagara on Saturday at McCann Baseball Field, as the Red Foxes took the nine-inning game one 4-0 behind a complete game shutout from red-shirt junior lefty Chad Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) and used a sixth-inning comeback to record a 4-1 triumph in the seven-inning second game.
Marist earned the sweep despite having just four hits in each game. The only Red Fox to have more than one hit on the day was senior center fielder Michael Gallic (Tolland, Conn.), who went 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs, two runs scored and a hit by pitch on the afternoon.
In his shutout performance, Gallagher allowed just six hits and one walk while striking out six. He faced just four batters over the minimum, and threw just 98 pitches, 66 of which went for strikes. Niagara did not have a runner reach third base in the entire game, and the Purple Eagles only had two batters reach safely in one inning, the seventh. Gallagher ran his record to 7-2, and lowered his ERA to 2.82. He became the first Red Fox to toss a nine-inning complete game shutout since Lucas Robinson did it at Fairfield on March 28, 2004. The game took just 1 hour, 21 minutes to complete.
The Red Foxes garnered all the offense they would need in game one in the first inning. With one out, sophomore first baseman Ricky Pacione (Newburgh, N.Y.) doubled to send Orefice to third. Gallic followed by lofting a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left-center field, giving the Red Foxes a 3-0 lead. It was his fifth homer of the season.
Marist tacked on the final run of the game in the third, when Schwind belted a triple to left on the first pitch of the inning, and Orefice brought him home on a sacrifice fly.
Drew Fittry (3-5) took the loss for Niagara despite pitching a complete game of his own and allowing just four hits, four runs and four walks. Fittry did not strike out a batter and threw 93 pitches, 52 of which went for strikes. Niagara right fielder Adam Wagner went 2-for-5.
In game two, Niagara scored first in its half of the second when catcher Jesse Harris doubled to center, bringing shortstop John Wilson home from first. Niagara starter Kody Kasper held the Red Foxes hitless through the first 3 1/3 innings, and scoreless through the first five.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Pacione started a four-run Marist rally with a walk. Gallic followed with a double to right, and Pacione beat the throw home to tie the game at one apiece. After sophomore shortstop Bryce Nugent (Binghamton, N.Y.) for the second out, junior designated hitter Eric Helmrich (Yonkers, N.Y.) singled to right, which brought Gallic home from second with the go-ahead run. Freshman second baseman Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.) followed with a triple into the gap in left-center, which brought home Shank and pinch-runner Jake Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.) to close out the scoring.
Red-shirt senior right-hander Eric Alessio (Nyack, N.Y.) went the first six innings to earn the win for Marist. Alessio allowed just three hits and one run, did not issue any walks, and struck out six. He improved to 3-1 on the season, and lowered his ERA to 2.08. He threw just 65 pitches, 48 of which went for strikes. Senior right-hander Kyle Putnam (New Windsor, N.Y.) tossed a nine-pitch seventh inning for his first save of the season. The second game took just 1 hour, 23 minutes to complete.
Kasper (0-8) took the loss for Niagara. He allowed two hits, two walks and three runs in 5.1 innings and struck out one. First baseman Brian Deering had a pair of doubles in his three at-bats for the Purple Eagles.
Marist improved to 28-13 overall and 8-9 in the MAAC; Niagara fell to 6-32 overall and 3-14 in the MAAC.
Niagara and Marist will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday. First pitch at McCann Baseball Field is scheduled for noon. An audio broadcast will be available by clicking here.