LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Behind an 11-inning complete game effort from senior right-hander Brett Houseal (Landisville, Pa.), the Marist baseball team earned a doubleheader split in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) match-up at Siena on Saturday.
The Red Foxes prevailed in the second game by a score of 2-1 after suffering a 9-5 loss in the first game, which was seven innings. Senior shortstop Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa.) had two hits in both games.
Here is a closer look at both games:
Game One: Siena 9, Marist 5
Siena scored in five of its six at-bats – two runs in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth. The Saints outhit the Red Foxes, 11-8.
Siena held a 3-1 lead after three innings, but Marist roared back with a four-run fourth. Freshman Joey Aiola (Suffern, N.Y.) tied the game with a two-run pinch-hit double. Freshman designated hitter Matt Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) followed with a sacrifice fly, and Shank followed with an RBI to put the Red Foxes up 5-3.
However, Siena tied the game in its half of the fourth, and took the lead for good in the fifth. Right fielder John Rooney led off with a double, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Mike Allen. The Saints then added three runs in the sixth, with catcher Larry Balkwill delivering the key blow with a two-run double.
Balkwill and Allen led Siena with three RBIs apiece. Reliever Matt Quintana (1-1) earned the victory. Marist junior left-hander Jordan Eich (Spencerport, N.Y.) took the loss and fell to 0-1. Eich pitched 1.1 innings of relief.
Game Two: Marist 2, Siena 1 (11 innings)
Houseal allowed just seven hits and three walks in his 11 innings of work, and struck out five. He allowed just one hit after the fourth inning, and retired 12 straight at one point. It was his third consecutive complete game, with his previous two both coming in seven-inning games. Houseal threw 128 pitches, with 81 going for strikes.
Siena scored first in the second innings. Catcher Kyle Baldani’s RBI single scored Rooney. Shortstop Tyler Martis followed with a single, but graduate left fielder Eric Helmrich (Yonkers, N.Y.) threw second baseman Mike Allen out at the plate to keep the score 1-0. Siena did not get a runner to third base the rest of the game.
Marist tied the game in the third. Sophomore catcher Mark Brennan (Wallingford, Conn.) started the inning with a single, and scored on a two-out infield error to tie the game.
The score remained 1-1 until the 11th, although Marist had runners in scoring position in both the ninth and 10th. Sophomore left fielder Steve Laurino (Carle Place, N.Y.) singled to lead off the inning, and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Aiola. With two outs, a single by freshman center fielder Graham McIntire (Concord, N.H.) brought in Laurino with what proved to be the game-winning run.
Neil Fryer (0-2) took the loss in relief for Siena. Starter Ed Lewicki went 9.1 innings, and did not allow an earned run.
Seven of the nine meetings between Marist and Siena, covering the last three seasons, have been decided by one run.
Marist is now 12-9 overall and 5-1 in the MAAC; Siena stands at 7-18 overall and 3-3 in the MAAC.
The Red Foxes return to action this week with non-conference home games against Stony Brook and Holy Cross, respectively. Marist will return to conference play with a three-game series at Manhattan next weekend. The Red Foxes and Jaspers will play a doubleheader at Van Cortlandt Park at noon on Saturday, followed by a single game at noon on Sunday.