May 19, 2011
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. -- The Marist baseball team's hopes of competing in the 2011 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Baseball Championships officially came to an end on Thursday. The Red Foxes were swept in a doubleheader at Siena, and that, coupled with Canisius' doubleheader sweep of Niagara, officially eliminated Marist's chance of finishing in the top four of the conference.
Marist suffered a 3-2 loss in game one, and a 5-3 defeat in game two. The losses dropped the Red Foxes' records to 34-17 overall and 12-11 in MAAC play.
In game one, the Saints struck first when Kevin Quaranto belted a two-run homer to right field in the home half of the first. The score remained 2-0 until the top of the seventh, junior third baseman Jon Schwind (Hilton, N.Y.) belted a two-run double to bring home junior designated hitter Eric Helmrich (Yonkers, N.Y.), who had led off the inning with a single, and freshman second baseman Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.), who followed with a double.
However, Siena scored the game's final run in the bottom of the seventh. Bill Cardona was hit by a pitch with one out, and after he was sacrificed to second by Kyle Hudson, he scored on John Rooney's single.
Kyle Sumple went the first seven innings to get the win for Siena, and Neil Fryer pitched the last two to pick up the save. Red-shirt junior left-hander Chad Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) took the loss for Marist, going the first seven innings and allowing five hits, three runs and three walks while striking out five. Gallagher fell to 9-3 on the season. Sophomore right-hander Brett Houseal (Landisville, Pa.) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.
In the seven-inning second game, Siena struck for four runs in the fourth to take a 5-2 lead. Marist answered with one in the fifth to close the gap to 5-3. Senior left fielder Ricky Pacione (Newburgh, N.Y.) started the seventh by drawing a four-pitch walk for Marist. On the next pitch, senior center fielder Michael Gallic (Tolland, Conn.) hit a towering fly ball down the left field line that would have tied the game if it was a home run, but was eventually ruled foul after a 15-minute discussion by the umpiring crew. The Red Foxes still were able to load the bases with two outs, but were unable to push across any runs.
Siena starter Justin Brantley, who worked the first four innings, got the win. Ryan Poplawski recorded the final four outs to earn the save. For Marist, red-shirt senior right-hander Eric Alessio (Nyack, N.Y.) took the loss to fall to 4-3. Alessio allowed six hits and four runs - just one of which was earned, as Marist committed three errors in the game - in 3.2 innings. He did not have a walk or strikeout. Senior right-hander Brendan Chapin (South Weymouth, Mass.) allowed one unearned run over the final 2.1 and struck out three.
Schwind paced the Red Foxes offensively by going 4-for-8 on the day.
Marist will end its season on Friday, when the Red Foxes and Saints wrap up their three-game series. First pitch is set for noon at Siena Field.