LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – It’s been the formula for success for the Fairfield University baseball team for over a year and a half now: get quality starts from their pitching staff and give the Fairfield offense enough opportunities to grind out some runs. That formula has now translated to six-straight series wins as the Stags defeated Siena 7-1 and 2-0 on Saturday. John Signoreand Gavin Wallaceboth turned in pitching gems as the duo combined to allow one run in their 15 innings as the Stags improved their first place conference record to 9-2.
One of those pitching aces, Wallace continued to set new marks in what might be one of the best seasons for a Fairfield starting pitcher in history. The junior was involved in another pitcher’s duel in the finale as Fairfield (20-15, 9-2 MAAC) scored just two runs, but it was enough as Wallace threw his fourth shutout of the season, in three-hit fashion. With the shutout, Wallace has already set a new program record with four clean sheets this season. He also further extended his national lead with his sixth complete game.
The first run for the Stags, was set up with just one ball leaving the infield. In the first inning, Jack Gethingssingled on a 3-2 pitch and would later advance to third on a Siena (14-20, 5-6 MAAC) fielding and throwing error on the same play. Troy Scoccahelped the Stags take advantage of the Saints’ miscue as he drove in Gethings with a RBI groundout.
The Stags would score their second and final run in the third, with the catalyst again being Gethings at the top of the order. Gethings singled to start the inning and was later driven home by Kevin Radziewicz, to give the Stags a little breathing room.
In economical fashion, Wallace needed 91 pitches to make those two runs hold up, as he allowed just two singles and a sixth-inning triple in the shutout. Wallace did not allow the Saints to touch second base until that Dan Swain triple. In total, Wallace struck out four and walked one as he faced just three batters over the minimum.
Wallace was not the only Fairfield pitcher to find success today, as Signore pitched into the eighth inning for the second-straight outing, holding the Saints to one run in a 7-1 victory in the opener.
The sophomore was accurate as usual, not allowing a walk while striking out five in his eight innings of work. He was tested early in the game, but the Fairfield defense made the plays when they needed to. After Brian Kelly doubled to left center in the first, the Stags used a perfectly executed relay throw as Tyler Gambardellahit the cutoff man Mac Crispinowho was able to throw out Swain trying to score.
Signore would settle down after that play, retiring 10 of the next 11 batters he faced.
On the offensive side, the Stags grinded out all seven runs, as they showed patience in figuring out Siena’s starter Tommy Miller. The Stags would have the bases loaded in two-straight innings, but only cashed in the fourth when Michael Contisingled home two runs to start the scoring for the Stags.
The next big inning for the Stags came in the seventh, when they tallied four runs highlighted by a Dan Hopkinstwo-run single. Crispino added a RBI single in that frame and Mitch Williamsbrought home a run in the ninth.
With the doubleheader sweep, the Stags have clinched their sixth-straight series win and also reached 20 victories for the second-straight season. The Stags will try for the sweep tomorrow when the two teams square off at noon.