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Josh Powers had four hits on Saturday.
by: David S. Williams
Baseball Powers Past Siena, 10-7
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  03/08/2014
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DeLand—Stetson’s offense pounded out a season-high 15 hits en route to a 10-7 win over Siena in the opener of a three-game series, Saturday at Melching Field.

Junior designated hitter Josh Powers led the way at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a double and two RBI. He was one of four Hatters with at least two hits, as every starter collected either a hit or an RBI. The 10 runs were also a team season-high.

“It’s a victory and I’m happy,” said head coach Pete Dunn. “When you’re struggling you’ll take a win any way you can get it.”

Powers, typically one of Stetson’s weekend starting pitchers, is enjoying a remarkable season at the plate. After failing to register a plate appearance during his first two seasons with the Hatters, Powers leads Stetson with a .364 batting average (12-33).

“One reason Josh is successful as a hitter is because he goes to the plate and swings the bat,” said Dunn. “He doesn’t go up and put the bat on his shoulder and let the pitcher get into a pitcher’s count. He’s doing a really good job for us.”

Stetson (3-11) needed every bit of the offense as the Hatters’ defense allowed Siena (0-10) to score five unearned runs.

Freshman right-hander Mitchell Jordan started for the Hatters but didn’t factor in the decision as he struggled with his command, and Stetson’s defense committed a pair of costly errors behind him.

The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Jordan surrendered three straight hits to open the game. Justin Esquerra gave the Saints the early lead with a single up the middle.

Stetson gained its first lead by scoring twice in the second inning. Jake Pequignot tied the game when his RBI groundout scored Garrett Russini. Kyle Pitts followed with an RBI single to score Tanner Blackman and give the Hatters a 2-1 lead.

Siena tied it with a run in the top of the third and Stetson took the lead right back in the bottom of the inning when Blackman plated Kyle Zech via sacrifice fly, making it 3-2.

The Saints scored four unearned runs in the fourth, taking advantage of a costly two-out error by Blackman in right field.

Jordan quickly retired Siena’s first two batters of the inning before allowing back-to-back singles. The freshman appeared to be out of the inning when he induced a fly ball from designated hitter Brian Fay, but Blackman dropped the ball which allowed the runners to score for a 4-3 Siena lead. Andres Ortiz followed by hitting the first pitch from Jordan down the left field line for a two-run home run, giving Siena a 6-3 advantage.

Stetson pulled to within 6-5 in the bottom of the inning when Tyler Bocock scored on a passed ball, and Powers collected an RBI single.

Stetson tied the game on an RBI single by Kevin Fagan in the fifth, and took the lead for good in the sixth with three runs, highlighted by Russini’s RBI triple.

Josh Thorne (1-0) relieved Jordan to start the sixth and held the Saints in check before tiring in the ninth. Siena loaded the bases with two outs in the final frame, and pulled to within 10-7 when reliever Trey Norris allowed an infield single with the bases loaded. But Norris ended the game and earned the save when he induced a come-backer for the final out.

Thorne tossed 3.2 innings in relief and allowed just one run while striking out a career-high five batters. He tossed 69 pitches during his outing.

“Thorney came in and did a great job for us,” said Dunn. “I wish he could have finished it up, but it was obvious he hit the wall in the ninth.”

Zech finished with three hits, two runs and a pair of steals for the Hatters, while Fagan and Russini had two hits apiece.

Esquerra enjoyed a 4-for-5 effort for Siena.

The Hatters and Saints conclude their series with a doubleheader on Sunday. Game one is scheduled for 1 p.m., with the nightcap at 5 p.m.


Stetson Baseball