Ice-cold. That was the weather for Siena College’s double-header this past Saturday, October 5. The wind was sweeping across the fields in Troy, and the Saints themselves got swept, bringing their conference record to three and two and their overall record to three and three. The two losses weren’t for a lack of trying, I can say that at the very least. The players on the field today were fighting the ice-cold wind more than anything. In both games of the set, the Saints staked themselves to early leads (4-0 each time) only to have the power of the long ball (of which there were several) do those leads in by the end of the fifth inning.
Seeing as college ball only goes seven innings, that didn’t leave the Saints much room to fight back. Cortland started off the season 3-0 for a reason, just like our Saints, and there was a good reason for that. Unfortunately for Siena, the Saints didn’t come marching in, grounding out time after time.
Game one was warm, even for October, and so was the score until the end of the third inning, when a three-run home run tied the score at three, and, like the temperature, it was all downhill from there. By the end of the fourth, the Saints were down by two, and Cortland would counter with three runs to Siena’s one more to give us our final score of 4-8, handing the Saints their first conference club baseball loss of the season.
Perhaps in vengeance for the bitter end of the first game, the Saints homered their way out to a 4-0 lead once again, only to have the wind blow it back at them, with Cortland answering with four runs in the top of the fourth, courtesy of an error and bases-clearing triple.
That would be all the action going for either team until the sixth inning when the Saints plated three to make it a seven-four game, and I was looking forward to getting out of the cold, considering that even the jacket I had on wasn’t enough to shield me from sub-forty temperatures. Did I mention that it was cold? Thankfully, the bats heated up enough to give us the lead, and I’m pretty sure that I had a part to play in what came next. With Cortland up and Siena three outs away from winning, I told the players on the bench “Congrats on another win,” sure that there could be no possible way that it could go wrong now. I should know better than to do that, because of course, it could go wrong, which it did, with Cortland taking advantage of walks to load the bases and Siena’s misplays through the gap. I get the feeling it was mostly the cold, though, when you’ve been standing in the same place for two hours in brutal cold, it’s hard to move.
With the game now tied seven-seven, neither team had anything going (except for some great escapes from bases-loaded, one (or no) out jams) for the next three innings.
By that time, I’m sure that everyone was ready to go home (in both senses) but both teams dug in and held on until the tenth, when Cortland had the wind at its heels, sending four home with some smart base running (and the help of the wind, of course) to give the Dragons an 11-7 lead, which went for our final, leaving Siena’s hope of keeping themselves undefeated gone with the wind.