Courtesy: Fairfield University

Signore Leads Stags in MAAC Championship Opener

Courtesy: Fairfield University
May 24, 2017

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – John Signore took nearly 10 minutes before the game adjusting his cleats to try and pick the wet dirt out from the bottom of his shoes. The grounds crew came out and quickly dried the mound. That was the only time in the game that Signore was not in control.

The sophomore turned in not only the best start of his career, but one of the best outings in MAAC Championship history. Signore struck out a career-high nine batters and brought a no-hitter into the seventh as the Stags dominated Iona 12-1 to stay in the winner's bracket in the MAAC Championships.

"It was a huge game," Signore said. "I just went out there and did the best that I could. I just wanted to throw strikes because I know I have defenders behind me. And we scored 12 runs so that's a good mix.

Making his first start in nearly two weeks, Signore couldn't have been better through his seven innings. Signore allowed one base runner during the first 6.1 innings, that coming on an error. He lasted on base for two pitches as Signore erased him on a 5-4-3 double play. Signore needed 93 pitches to get through seven, 64 of those strikes.

Signore's brilliance allowed the Stags (31-22) the ability to manufacture runs. Fairfield had only one hit through the first two innings, but scored three runs, mainly by staying patient at the plate. Fairfield worked out six walks through the first two frames, which led to their first run of the game. After two Stags reached base with the free passes, Mac Crispino worked out another walk, but the final pitch got by the catcher, allowing Drew Arciuolo to plate the game's first run.

The Stags manufactured two more runs in the second when Tyler Gambardella stole second base and the throw from the catcher flew over the shortstop, which allowed Michael Conti to score the unearned run. Even though three runs were already in, Arciuolo got the first RBI of the game for the Stags as he forced in a run on a groundout.

Fairfield ran their lead to 5-0 with two more runs in the third as Troy Scocca scored on an errant throw on a sacrifice bunt by Mitch Williams and Michael Conti brought home another run with a groundout.

Gethings had the first big hit for the Stags, and the first with a runner in scoring position, as he broke the game open with a two-run single in the seventh to push the score to 7-0. That was the first of three run-scoring hits as Kevin Radziewicz brought two home with a double and Scocca doubled him home to make it 10-0.

The first hit for the Gaels did not come until one out in the seventh when Matt Byrne launched an opposite field double.

The Stags will now face the winner of the Marist and Canisius contest on Friday at noon at Sal Maglie Stadium.

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