TROY, N.Y. - The No. 2 seed Canisius College baseball team lost 5-4 in 10 innings to No. 1 seed Manhattan College in the first game of the championship round of the 2012 MAAC Championship at Joe Bruno Stadium on Saturday night. The loss ends a six-game Golden Griffin winning streak and puts Canisius at 33-26 on the season.
The loss forces a decisive championship game on Sunday, with first pitch between Canisius and Manhattan set for noon in Troy, N.Y. Canisius will be the home team in Sunday's game.
A free audio broadcast will be available on GoGriffs.com, with pregame starting at 11:47 a.m. A pay-per-view video broadcast is available on MAAC.TV.
Canisius took the 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning as junior Ronnie Bernick reached on a one-out single and advanced to second on a grounder from freshman Mike Krsiche. A single to right from sophomore Jesse Kelso put runners on the corners and a balk by Manhattan starter Scott McClennan scored Bernick. Manhattan tied the game in the bottom of the third on a two-out RBI single from Nick Camastro that scored Chris Kalousdian.
Canisius re-took the lead in the sixth inning, putting together a two-out rally. Sophomore Ryan Coppinger lined a single up the middle and took third on a single to left-center from sophomore Jose Torralba. Coppinger then scored on a double to the left-center field gap from junior Brooklyn Foster. The Griffs pushed their lead to 4-1 on a two-out, two-RBI single from junior Ronnie Bernick.
Manhattan started its rally in the eighth as the Jaspers got a bases-loaded double from Ramon Ortega that scored two runs but the Griffs used well-executed throws from Krische to Bernick to Foster to nail Ryan Murphy at the plate to keep Canisius ahead 4-3. Manhattan then tied it in the ninth with a one-out homer from Joe Rock off Canisius closer Jon Fitzsimmons.
Redshirt junior Billy Martin started for the Griffs and went 7.1 innings. Martin allowed three runs on eight hits, walked zero and struck out four. Manhattan used four pitchers on the day. Scott McClennan started and went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs. John Soldinger got the final out of the sixth. Jacob Marchus threw two scoreless innings and Taylor Sewitt earned the win, throwing two shutout innings. Sewitt threw a complete-game shutout on Friday and now has 11 shutout innings in the tournament.
Notes: Canisius has scored first in all three games this weekend... The Golden Griffins played an extra-inning game in the postseason for the first time in program history... Canisius and Manhattan met in the MAAC Championship for the sixth time since 2008, with the Griffs losing for the second straight meeting... Fitzsimmons allowed an extra-base hit for the first time this season and allowed a hit to a MAAC opponent for the first time in 2012.
Bernick has scored a run in six of the last seven games... Coppinger had two hits for the 10th time in 15 starts... Foster has two hits in back-to-back games for the first time this season... Kelso had two more sacrifice bunts and has five in the last two games... Krische reached base three times and has now reached base in 13 straight games... Martin pitched into the eighth inning for the seventh time this season... Torralba extended his hitting streak to seven games... Zimmer had two walks and now has 54 on the season, two off tying the MAAC record.