LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – The Fairfield University baseball team received a stellar start from juniorEJ Ashworth, who nearly went the distance, as the Stags blanked Siena College, 4-0, this afternoon.
Ashworth (4-2) went 8.2 innings scattering three hits, all singles, and a walk while striking out six batters on 125 pitches. He won his second straight start and his 12th career game which checks him into Fairfield’s career top-15 in wins.
With the victory, Fairfield improves to 22-16 overall and to 11-4 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). Siena (14-16; 10-3 MAAC) drops into a first place tie with Quinnipiac in the MAAC standings, both remain just ahead of the Stags.
At the plate, junior Sal Cicconewent 2-for-4 on the day with a run batted in while rookie Dan Hopkinswent 2-for-3 with a run scored and one driven in.
Fairfield got on the board in the second inning. Sophomore Jake Salpietrodrew a leadoff walk while the next two batters were able to move him over to third base. With two outs, Hopkins walked and stole second to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Freshman Mac Crispinosingled to plate Salpietro while Ciccone bunted for a base hit to score Hopkins and make it 2-0.
The Stags added two more runs in the third inning. With one out, senior Ryan Plourdetripled for the third consecutive game and for the 11th time in his career to set the Fairfield record. After Salpietro reached on an error, Rob LoPintosqueezed home Plourde for the 3-0 advantage. With two outs, Hopkins singled to right field to score Salpietro and make the score 4-0.
Ashworth, meanwhile, retired nine of the first 11 batters of the game. After hitting a batter in the fourth inning, Ashworth retired the next 12 batters he faced until issuing a one-out walk in the eighth inning. After retiring the first two batters in the ninth, Ashworth put two runners on. That’s whenAndrew Gallaghercame on in relief and got Dave Hoffman to foul out to end the game. It was Gallagher’s third save of the season.
Siena’s Matt Gage struck out 11 batters but surrendered four runs, three earned, on seven hits and two walks.
The two teams will close out the series tomorrow, April 27, with a doubleheader beginning at 12pm.