The Canisius baseball team helped advance closer to its 11th-straight MAAC tournament berth on Saturday, registering a doubleheader sweep of Iona, 5-4 and 1-0, at City Park in New Rochelle, N.Y. The highlight of the day came from Andrew Sipowicz who twirled a gem, one-hitting the Gaels and setting down the final 15 batters of game, in the second contest of the day. With the wins, Canisius improved to 28-18 overall and 11-6 in conference action, meanwhile Iona dropped to 17-20 overall and 10-7 in MAAC play.
Canisius staved off a ninth-inning comeback bid by Iona, to take the first game 5-4 on Saturday. Junior closer Tyler Smith came on with one out in the final frame, and recorded his ninth save, despite Iona closing the gap to just one run.
Canisius used a three-run rally in the top of the third inning to take the early advantage, and pushed its lead to 5-2, headed into the ninth, before the Gaels put a scare into the Blue and Gold with a three-hit, two-run rally.
J.P. Stevenson improved to 8-3 on the season, as he worked seven innings, allowed six hits, two runs and fanned four in the victory. Will Frank came on in relief and worked one full inning before being lifted in favor of Michael Ginther.
Ginther retired one batter before head coach Mike McRae brought Smith to the hill, and he recorded the final two outs of the game to secure the win.
Offensively the Griffs were out-hit by Iona, with the Gaels recording nine knocks ot the Blue and Gold's seven. However Canisius was able to navigate out of those jams.
Andrew Sipowicz kept the momentum going in game two, allowing just one Iona base runner on one hit, and recorded one strikeout, as he worked the complete seven innings to improve to 4-2.
Offense as a whole came at a premium, as the Blue and Gold managed just six hits, but plated the decisive run in the top of the third inning thanks to a Jake Lumley RBI single, which scored Wilson.
Wilson and Lumley led the team in hits with a pair apiece, while Conley and Brett Migliore also recorded a hit in the contest.
Canisius plays its final regular season road game on Sunday, as the two teams play the third game of the series beginning at noon. Canisius then prepares for its final two MAAC series, hosting Manhattan on May 13-14 and finish up with Niagara on May 18-19. The Blue and Gold will potential play its first MAAC tournament at home this year, as Canisius is co-hosting the conference tournament with Niagara at Sal Maglie Stadium.