LAKEWOOD, N.J. — The No. 29 Canisius baseball team advanced to the championship round of the MAAC Championship for the fifth time in the last six seasons with a 6-2 win over No. 3 seed Fairfield University at FirstEnergy Park on Friday.
The Golden Griffins win their 40th game of the season, posting 40 wins for the second straight season and third time since 2008. Canisius extends the longest winning streak in the country to 18 games.
The championship game is currently scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday night. Siena and Monmouth meet at noon. The winner of that games plays Fairfield at 3:30 p.m. The winner of that game plays the Griffs on Saturday night. However, if Siena or Monmouth wins both games on Saturday, the championship will be moved to Sunday because a team can't play three games in a day.
Senior Jimmy Luppens reached base in all five plate appearances with two hits, two walks and a hit by pitch. Sophomore Anthony Massicci was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Junior Connor Panas reached base three times while senior Ronnie Bernick was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The Griffs scored in the bottom of the first for the fifth consecutive game, getting back-to-back one-out singles from Massicci and Luppens to get two runners on base. After a fielder’s choice put runners at the corners, Panas topped a ball up the first-base line. The first baseman couldn’t make a play at any base and Massicci scored on the RBI single to put Canisius up 1-0. The Griffs added another run in the bottom of the second on a one-out RBI single from Bernick. Canisius extended the lead to 3-0 in the third on an RBI single from junior Jesse Puscheck.
After Fairfield (32-23) scored once in the top of the fourth, the Griffs loaded the bases with one out after singles from Bernick and senior Jose Torralba to go along with an intentional walk to Luppens. A sacrifice fly from sophomore Brett Siddall scored Bernick and put the Griffs back up by three runs.
Fairfield would again make it a two-run game with a run in the sixth, but Canisius starter Alex Godzak got a strikeout to strand two Farifield runners to end the inning. Each team would leave the bases loaded in the seventh. The Griffs added two insurance runs in the eighth. An opposite-field double from Luppens scored Massicci, and a wild pitch later in the inning would score Luppens to make it 6-2.
Godzak won his sixth consecutive start by allowing two runs (one earned) in 6.1 innings. Sophomore Iannick Remillard threw 2.2 scoreless innings of relief to pick up his second save of the season.
Notes: Canisius and Fairfield met in the MAAC Championship for the second time as the Griffs defeated the Stags 2-1 in the 2012 postseason in Troy, N.Y… A MAAC team has won 40 games four times in conference history and Canisius has done it three of those four times… The 2.2 innings were a season-high for Remillard… Siddall and Panas have each reached base in a season-high 16 games… Canisius worked eight walks in the game and struck out just three times... Torralba recorded his 200th career hit in the game.