Siena fell behind 7-0 in the second inning, but slowly chipped away against Dallas Baptist in Saturday’s elimination game at the NCAA Fort Worth Regional.
The Saints (27-32) scored two in the second and three in the third before going to the seventh down 7-6.
Senior John Rooney was at the plate with a chance to tie it, but he did much more than that by hitting the go-ahead, two-run single off DBU’s Brandon Koch, who entered the regional with an 0.48 ERA.
“I knew from the scouting report that Koch was recording more than two strikeouts per inning and he had a good slider,” Rooney said. “With the bases loaded, he threw me a first-pitch slider and it was a ball. I knew he didn’t want to walk me, so I just jumped on the first fastball I saw and was able to find the hole.”
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Rooney has struggled this season with a career-low .221 batting average.
Walks doom DBU
Dallas Baptist’s pitching surrendered 16 walks in Saturday’s season-ending loss to Siena. Control issues have been a problem for the Patriots this season.
“That has been our weakness with this staff,” DBU coach Dan Heefner said. “We have great arms and they’ve had a lot of success this year, but we have walked a lot of people. Obviously, nothing really like this. That’s probably an NCAA record for a regional.”
DBU also had 13 walks against TCU in a 15-inning game earlier this season and walked 12 in 10 innings in a Missouri Valley tournament game last week.
9Innings out of the bullpen Saturday for Siena’s Neil Fryer, who replaced starter Ed Lewicki in the second inning and held DBU to a run on six hits to get the win.
45Years Siena’s Tony Rossi has been the Saints’ coach, longer than TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle and DBU’s Dan Heefner have been alive.
“I’m really happy for our school and our baseball alumni who have been all over me with texts and emails the last couple of days. We have been in a few [regional games] but this is our ﬁrst win. It was a tough one. This is a great win for the program and a great win for the school. I am happy for everybody in the Siena community.” — Siena coach Tony Rossi, in his 45th year, on the program’s first postseason win.