TRENTON, N.J. - The
Canisius College baseball team lost in the bottom of the ninth inning in the
first round of the 2011 MAAC Championship at Waterfront Park in Trenton, N.J.. The No. 4 seed Golden Griffins lost 3-2 to the No. 1 seed
Manhattan Jaspers in the first game of the tournament on Thursday afternoon.
The Golden Griffins (25-31) will players in the losers bracket game at 3 p.m. on Friday against No. 2 Rider. The Broncs lost 6-3 to No. 3 Siena on Thursday night at Waterfront Park.
Canisius took the lead in the top of the first as senior Will Chomicki led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Chris Gruarin and scored on one-out RBI single senior from senior Sean Jamieson. The Griffs kept the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third as Manhattan got a one-out single from Yoandry Galan and then a two-out single from Nick Camastro, but Gruarin threw behind Galan and Jamieson applied the tag at second base to end the inning.
The Jaspers tied the game in the sixth as Mark Onorati led off with a double down the right-field line. After a sacrifice bunt moved Onorati to third, Chad Salem was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners. Austin Sheffield then had a one-out, RBI single to score Onorati and tie the game at 1-1.
Canisius came right back and took the lead in the top of the seventh, with the rally starting on a one-out single from senior Brian Burton. Freshman Jose Torralba extended the rally with a two-out single and then a walk to senior Andrew Russo loaded the bases. Freshman Shane Zimmer worked a bases-loaded walk to force Burton home and give Canisius the 2-1 lead.
Manhattan (32-17) tied the game in the bottom of the eighth as Salem was hit by a pitch with one out, chasing Shane Davis from the game. Redshirt senior Chris Cox came into the game and got a force out at second base for the second out of the inning. After a walk to Mike McCann, Ramon Ortega hit a two-out, RBI single back up the middle to even the game at 2-2.
Manhattan won the game in the bottom of the ninth without a hit as Anthony Vega drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Onorati was hit by a pitch, Cox got Camastro to pop out for an infield fly rule for the second out of the inning. Salem was hit by a pitch for the third time in the game to load the bases. Matt Triosi then drew a four-pitch walk to force home Vega and give Manhattan the walk-off win.
Davis allowed two runs in 7.1 innings on six hits, walked two and struck out four. Cox (1-6) took the loss, allowing one run on one hit, walked three, struck out one and hit two in 1.1 innings of relief.
John Soldinger (10-2) earned the complete-game win for Manhattan. The 2011 MAAC Pitcher of the Year allowed two runs on six hits, walked two and struck out six in nine innings.
Notes: Canisius played in the postseason for the fifth consecutive season and for the sixth time in program history (1994)... Canisius and Manhattan met in the postseason for the fifth time... Manhattan defeated Canisius for the first time in five postseason meetings... The last four meetings have now been decided by a total of five runs... Cox hadn't allowed a run in his last eight appearances (11.2 innings) out of the pen... Davis made his 56th career start, breaking the record of 55 set by Mike Goemans (2007-10)... Davis made his fourth career start in the postseason, all agains Manhattan.