Army Rallies Past Siena, 7-6

Mark McCants

Mark McCants

March 26, 2013

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Mark McCants drove home the game-tying run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and then scored the game-winning run later in the inning as the Army baseball team rallied past Siena, 7-6, in a non-league contest Tuesday afternoon at Doubleday Field.

Army (7-11) trailed 4-0 before rallying to take a 5-4 lead with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Siena (6-15) plated two runs in the top of the seventh to establish a 6-5 advantage, which it held until the Black Knights made their comeback in the bottom of the ninth.

McCants, who returned to the lineup after missing this past weekend's action due to injury, finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI to pace Army's nine-hit attack. Alex Jensen had a big day at the plate as well, going 2-for-4 with three runs batted in.

Patrick Mescher drew a leadoff walk to begin Army's ninth-inning uprising, and Harold Earls laid down a sacrifice bunt to move pinch-runner Michael Sands to second base. Two batters later, McCants lined a base hit to center field to score Sands with the game-tying run. Andrew Johnson followed with a base hit to put runners on the corners, and McCants hustled home with the game-winning run after the Siena catcher threw the ball away trying to get McCants at third.

Siena opened the scoring in the first inning when Vincent Citro singled, stole second, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on Mike Fish's sacrifice fly.

The Saints increased their advantage to 3-0 in the top of the fourth. Brian Fay led off the inning by blasting a home run over the fence in right field. Siena manufactured its second run as Mike Allen reached on a fielder's choice, stole second base and later scored on Andres Ortiz's ground out. Siena tacked on another run in the fifth inning when Larry Balkwill doubled, took third on Fay's base hit and scored on a passed ball.

Army began to chip away at Siena's lead in the bottom of the fifth on Jensen's two-run single. Justin Reece, Jon Crucitti and Daniel Cortes drew consecutive walks to begin the frame, and Jensen delivered a base hit to plate the Black Knights' first two runs of the game.

The Black Knights then took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs on four hits and two Siena errors. McCants singled with one out and Johnson reached on an error by the Saints' third baseman to put runners on first and second. Reece then ripped a single to right field to plate McCants and trim Siena's lead to 4-3. After Crucitti walked, Cortes and Jensen produced back-to-back RBI singles to give Army a one-run advantage.

Army's lead did not last long as Siena moved in front, 6-5, in the seventh on Mike Allen's two-run double.

Black Knight reliever Gunnar Carroll (1-3) entered the game during the seventh inning and held the Saints in check over the final 2.2 innings to pick up his first win of the season. The junior right-hander limited Siena to two hits during his outing.

Neil Fryer (0-1) took the loss for Siena after allowing Army's ninth-inning rally. Ortiz, Balkwill and Fay both collected two hits each to lead the Saints offensively.

Army resumes its nine-game homestand on Saturday, March 30, when the Black Knights host the New York Yankees in an exhibition game at Doubleday Field. First pitch for the contest, which will be televised live by the YES Network, is slated for 2:26 p.m.

Game Notes: Army improves to 12-5 all-time versus Siena ... it marked the Black Knights first "walk-off" win of the season ... Army won for the first time this season when trailing after eight innings (1-9) ... it also marked the Black Knights' first victory this season when trailing after seven innings (1-10) ... it marked Army's first one-run win of the year (1-3) ... Jon Crucitti had a career-best three walks ... Mark McCants equaled his career high with three hits.

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