FISHKILL, N.Y. - Rider University scored three times in the top of the seventh thanks to five walks and a hit batsman and sophomore hurler Patrick Devlin gave up two runs on six hits while striking out seven in eight innings of work as the third-seeded Broncs beat Canisius College 4-2 Friday night in the 2010 MAAC Baseball Championship game at Dutchess Stadium. The win allows Rider (36-21) to claim the MAAC's automatic bid into next weekend's NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament, while the Golden Griffins see their season end with an overall mark of 39-21.
Rider, which entered the game with a 2-0 record in the conference's postseason event, scored first in the top of the fourth when senior Nick Wojnowski scored on a fielder's choice groundout by catcher Eric Woodrow. In the top of the seventh, the Broncs were able to push three runs across thanks to five walks and a hit batter. With the bases loaded and one out, Karl Johnston came in to score when third baseman Adam Wayman was hit by a 2-1 pitch, and after a Canisius pitching change, Woodrow drew a two-out walk that allowed A.J. Albee to score, giving the Broncs a 3-0 lead. Wojnowski scored for the second time in the game moments later when Rider DH Steve Galella drew a free pass, but the Griffs limited the damage when Brandon Cotten went down looking.
In the home half of the seventh, Canisius plated its two runs on an RBI-single by junior Will Chomicki. With one out in the fame, senior Shayne Willson reached base with a single to right, and he moved to third on a double by sophomore Drew Pettit. Chomicki followed Pettit's hit with a drive up the middle that allowed Willson and Pettite to score, but the Griffs' rally was cut short when Devlin got a fly-ball out to end the frame.
In the ninth, Rider brought on freshman closer Tyler Smith, who pitched a perfect frame to secure his ninth save of the season and the Broncs' second MAAC title in the last three seasons.
The win on the mound improved Devlin to 7-3 on the year, while Canisius senior Chris Cox took the loss after he allowed four runs on two hits to go with two strikeouts and 10 walks in 6.1 innings of action.
For Canisius, Chomicki went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while junior Sean Jamieson and senior Ian Choy added hits to the losing effort. The hit for Jamieson extended his hitting streak to 10-straight games to end the year. Choy's single in the sixth was his 256th career hit, which is a new school record.
GAME NOTES: The Griffs were playing in the MAAC Championship series for the second consecutive season... Rider is now 3-1 all-time against Canisius in the MAAC Tournament... Junior Brian Burton joined Jamieson and Willson on the MAAC All-Tournament Team... Jamieson hit .615 (8-for-13) with two runs scored and two RBIs in his first four MAAC Tournament games... Chomicki's two hits in the loss marked the fifth time this year he's collected two hits in a contest.