The Canisius baseball team lost the rubber game by the score of 4-3 at Fairfield University on Sunday afternoon. The Golden Griffins lose their first conference series of the season and drop to 19-10 overall and 7-2 in MAAC play.
Fairfield (12-12, 6-2 MAAC) got on the board in the bottom of the second with an unearned run off Canisius starter Devon Stewart. The Griffs would leave the bases loaded in the third, and Canisius would load the bases again in the fourth. An RBI groundout from freshman Christ Conley tied the game at 1-1. Senior Shane Zimmer would score on a passed ball to give the Griffs a one-run lead.
Fairfield scored its second unearned run of the day in the fifth to tie the score at 2-2. Canisius would reclaim the lead in the seventh with an unearned run of its own. Sophomore Anthony Massicci drew a one-out walk and senior Jesse Kelso reached on an error. A wild pitch advanced each runner into scoring position, and junior Connor Panas beat out a two-out, infield single to second base to put the Griffs up 3-2.
The Stags knotted the score in the bottom of the eighth with back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning. An RBI double from Rob LoPinto made it 3-3. After a wild pitch moved pinch runner Eric Fajardo to third base, a safety squeeze bunt by Sal Ciccone scored Fajardo for what proved to be the game-winning run. Sophomore Iannick Remillard struck out the final two batters to keep Fairfield’s lead at 4-3.
Massicci led off the ninth with a single and after a sacrifice bunt from Kelso, senior Jimmy Luppens reached on an error to put two runners on base. Fairfield closer Jeremy Soule got a pop out and groundout to save the game and give the series to the Stags.
Junior Connor Panas and Massicci each had two hits for Canisius and a walk for the Griffs.
Stewart (3-3) took the loss for the Griffs, allowing four runs (two earned) in 7.1 innings.
Canisius begins its second eight-game homestand of the season with a midweek game against Akron on Wednesday. First pitch at the Demske Sports Complex is set for 3 p.m.
Notes: Fairfield takes the series from Canisius for the third consecutive season… Puscheck reached base for the 32nd consecutive game with a sixth-inning walk… Panas extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest on the team this season… Canisius has lost three of its last four games, all by one run…