Fairfield entered the weekend as the lone unbeaten team in the nation. The Stags were slated for a 4-game set with Siena, one of the absolute worst teams in the country. After narrowly winning Game 1 by the score of 2-1 in 7 innings, the Stags made a statement in Game 2 with a 10-0 rout.
With 28 straight wins, Fairfield entered Sunday’s Game 3 full of confidence. Playing at home, and leading 1-0 after 4 innings, Fairfield was in the driver’s seat. In the top of the 5th, the Siena Saints finally broke through against John Signore, a starter who entered the game 4-0 with a 3.64 ERA.
After taking a 2-1 lead in the 5th, Siena would keep the pressure on. Another run in the 6th led to a pitching change. The Saints added another run in the frame off the reliever and took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the 6th. 2 more runs off the bullpen in the top of the 7th gave the Saints a commanding lead.
Finally, it was time for John Lumpinski’s spectacular performance to come to a close. He gave the ball over to Carter Knapek to close out the game in a non-save situation. Knapek faced the minimum and closed out the first Saints win over a ranked team since beating Tennessee in March of 2006.
Siena hit .231, but their hits were well timed. By stacking hits, the Saints were able to muster up just enough offense in the late innings to compliment the gritty pitching of Lumpinski and the flawless inning from Knapek. The Saints locked in and picked up their signature win.
The Saints may have dropped 3 games in the 4 game set, but this 1 win was worth more than any other game in their troubled season. The Saints now sit at 11-19 on the year, but with a newfound confidence, they might be able to make a run in the MAAC Tournament. 4 games against Canisius and 2 against Marist stand between Siena and the conference tournament. It is certainly a longshot, but Siena has a chance to back up this win against RPI’s #2 Fairfield with a MAAC run and a NCAA tournament bid. Anything can happen, right?