Iona College defeated the Canisius College baseball team 6-2 at the Demske Sports Complex on Friday afternoon. The Golden Griffins fall to 24-24 overall and 9-7 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Canisius got on the board in the bottom of the first as freshman Mike Krische led off with a double down the right-field line. Krische moved to third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI groundout from sophomore Shane Zimmer.
The Gaels didn't record their first hit until the fifth inning, when four straight Iona players reaching base. After a walk to Eric Capowski, single from Joe Smith and walk to Joe Torres loaded the bases, Jimmy Guliano forced home a run on the third walk of the inning. Canisius starter Garrett Cortright then got Chris Burke and Mike Chiaravalloti to pop out with the bases loaded to end the inning and keep the score tied at 1-1.
Iona took a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth on an RBI double from Matt Kriss and an RBI groundout from Capowski. The Griffs got one of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Jimmy Luppens doubled to left-center with one out and eventually scored on a two-out triple to left-center from sophomore Jesse Kelso.
The Gaels came right back and scored three in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of a leadoff walk to build a 6-2 lead. Iona received an RBI double from Burke and RBI singles from James Beck and Colin Lyall to go up by four runs.
The Griffs had a chance in the ninth as walks to pinch hitters Connor Panas and Jesse Puscheck to go along with Krische beating out an infield single loaded the bases. Derrick Bligh then got sophomore Jose Torralba to ground out to second to end the game as the Griffs went 2-for-18 on the day with runners on base.
Cortright (5-6) took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits, walking five, hitting two batters and striking out three in six innings. Eddie Macaluso (4-5) earned the win by allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits in six innings. Bligh threw three scoreless innings to record the save.
Canisius and Iona conclude the series on Saturday, with a doubleheader at the Demske Sports Complex. First pitch is set for noon.
Notes: Canisius lost the first game of a conference series for the second time in six MAAC series this season... The win by the Gaels ended a six-game winning streak by the Griffs in the series... Krische batted in the leadoff spot of the order for the first time since Feb. 18, against Marshall and had a career-high four hits... Luppens extended his hitting streak to seven games... Cortright went six innings for the seventh time in his last eight starts... Kelso's triple was his fifth of the season and the sophomore is now tied for the second most in a season in program history. Branson Joseph holds the single-season record with seven (2009)... Panas has seven walks in his last 21 plate appearances... Freshman Rohn Pierce allowed two runs in 2.2 innings of relief, his first runs allowed in his last eight relief appearances.