TROY, N.Y. - Behind 11 shutout innings of relief from MAAC Championship MVP Taylor Sewitt, the Manhattan College Japsers defeated the Canisius College baseball team 3-2 in the title game of the 2012 MAAC Championship at Joe Bruno Stadium on Sunday afternoon to repeat as conference champions. The Golden Griffins finish the 2012 season with a 33-27 overall record.
Canisius scored first for the fourth straight game of the weekend, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Freshman Mike Krische led off with a single and sophomore Jose Torralba and freshman Connor Panas followed with walks, chasing Manhattan starter Matt Jordan from the game. Sophomore Jimmy Luppens then scored two runs with a single up the middle to put Canisius ahead 2-0 after the first inning. Manhattan cut the lead in half in the top of the third as Yoandry Galan doubled with one out and scored on an RBI single from Nick Camastro. The Jaspers tied the game in the fourth as Joe McClennan reached with a one-out double and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch.
Manhattan loaded the bases with one out in the seventh but junior Jason Rubenstein came in and got Ramon Ortega to pop out and struck out Brendan Slattery to get out of the jam. The Jaspers had another threat in the eighth as they got runners to second and third with one out. Rubenstein got a comeback groundball to force McClennan into a rundown. Freshman Eric Stolzenburg then got Anthony Vega to hit a grounder to second to end the threat.
Canisius could never get a runner past first base in the final four innings and did not get a runner to third base after the first inning. Sophomore Jesse Kelso led off the eighth with a single but was thrown out on a sacrifice bunt attempt from junior Brooklyn Foster. Krische led off the ninth by going the other way but Manhattan (33-25) first baseman Ryan Murphy made a leaping catch to rob Krische of a hit.
Manhattan scored the winning run in the 11th as Galan drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Jon Fitzsimmons came into the game and struck out Camastro looking for the second out of the inning. Murphy then found a hole on the right side of second base, hitting the ball softly enough that Krische had no chance to attempt a throw home on the game-winning RBI single. Canisius got a one-out single from sophomore Ronnie Bernick in the 11th but couldn't mount a rally.
Sewitt allowed five hits and walked three while striking out five in the 11 innings of work, which included 153 pitches. Sewitt (11-1) didn't allow a run in 22 innings in the tournament as he earned the win in three of Manhattan's four victories.
Canisius used seven pitchers on the day. Freshman Rohn Pierce started and allowed two runs in six-plus innings, striking out four. Freshman Aaron Capser (2-1) ended up taking the loss as he walked the leadoff batter in the 11th.
Notes: Three Golden Griffins earned All-Tournament Team honors - Foster (6-for-14), Bernick (5-for-15) and sophomore Garrett Cortright. Cortright went eight innings (allowing one earned run) in the opener and then threw two shutout innings of relief on Sunday... Canisius played in the winter-takes-all title game of the MAAC Championship game for the second time in program history (2009)... Canisius and Manhattan met in the MAAC Championship for the seventh time since 2008, with the Jaspers winning the last three meetings... The Griffs end 2012 with a 5-13 record in one-run games and 3-4 record in extra-inning games.