Marist Baseball Outlasts Siena, 8-7 In 13 Innings
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Four hours and eight minutes after Chris Bielak (Sayreville, N.J.) threw the game's first pitch, sophomore third baseman Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.) roped a single to the left-center field gap, giving the Marist baseball team an 8-7 win over Siena in 13 innings on Sunday.
The hit was McQuail's third of the day, as he paced the Marist offense by going 3-for-7 with two runs scored in addition to the game-winning RBI. Freshman catcher Mark Swertfager (Katonah, N.Y.) went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
Senior right-hander Jake Rifkin (West Deptford, N.J.) went the final five innings to earn the victory and improve to 2-1 on the season. Rifkin allowed three hits, one run and two walks while striking out four.
Right fielder John Rooney and catcher Larry Balkwill each had three hits for Siena (11-24 overall, 4-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference).
Siena scored first in the top of the second, but Marist tied the game in the bottom of the third. Swertfager led off with an infield single, and advanced to second on an error. He scored on a two-out double by junior shortstop Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa.). The Red Foxes then scored three times in the fourth, as they scored two runs on passed balls and the third on a sacrifice fly by Swertfager.
Siena, however, fought back to tie the game in the seventh. The Saints brought in three runs thanks to an infield single and two hit batsmen. Siena then took the lead in the eighth on an RBI single by Balkwill, and made the score 6-4 on a sacrifice fly by Dan Sullivan.
Marist then answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the eighth. Freshman second baseman Alec Petrone (Mahopac, N.Y.) started a one-out rally by lacing a single to right-center. With the bases loaded, sophomore pinch-hitter Pat Welsh (Millersville, Pa.) was hit by a pitch to force home Petrone. Sophomore outfielder Jake Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.) followed by reaching on a fielder' choice, which scored sophomore pinch-runner Eric Molinaro (Kingston, N.Y.) to tie the game.
Both Siena and Marist got runners to third base with two outs in the ninth, but neither was able to score. It remained 6-6 until the top of the 12th, when first baseman Ken Kirshner hit a sacrifice fly to center, which brought home center fielder Tyler Bell. Marist then tied - and nearly won -- the game in the bottom half of the 12th. McQuail led off the inning with a single, and was sacrificed to second by Petrone. Freshman designated hitter Mark Brennan (Wallingford, Conn.) then drew a walk, and was pinch-run for by sophomore pitcher Jordan Eich (Spencerport, N.Y.). With two outs, Welsh doubled into the left-field corner, which brought home McQuail to tie the game. However, Eich was thrown out on a bang-bang play at the plate, as Siena left fielder Kyle Baldani hit cutoff man Ryan Metzler, who delivered a strike to Balkwill, who applied the tag.
Shank started Marist's game-winning rally in the bottom of the 13th with a one-out double down the left-field line. Junior first baseman Mike Orefice (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) was then intentionally walked, and senior left fielder Eric Helmrich (Yonkers, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, setting the stage for McQuail's game-winning hit.
For Marist, Bielak went 5.1 innings in his start, and allowed three hits and one run. He struck out four. Siena's Andrew Sawyer, the Saints' sixth pitcher of the day, took the loss to fall to 0-1.
Marist improved to 11-19 overall and 5-6 in MAAC play. The Red Foxes will return to action on Tuesday, when they host Binghamton in a doubleheader. The teams will play two seven-inning games, with first pitch of game one set for 2 p.m.