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Griffs Sweep Iona, Throw A No-Hitter In Finale

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 03/29/2013
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Getting dominant pitching throughout the entire series, the Canisius baseball team defeated Iona College 7-0 and 8-0 to complete a three-game sweep of the Gaels in New Rochelle, N.Y. The Golden Griffins, who have won 15 of their last 18 games, improve to 19-7 overall and 4-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Game Two – Canisius 8, Iona 0

Three Canisius pitchers combined to throw a nine-inning no-hitter in the series finale on Friday. Freshman Alex Godzak overcame walks to the second and third hitters he faced to not allow a hit in seven innings while striking out six. Godzak retired the next 20 batters he faced and combined with sophomore Rohn Pierce and junior Jon Fitzsimmons, the trio retired the final 26 batters of the game to record the first no-hitter by Canisius in nearly 20 years.

Canisius has thrown two other no-hitters in its Division I history. Mike Firth threw a no-hitter against Buffalo on May 2, 1986, and Joe Mamott threw a no-hitter against Siena on May 2, 1993. Both of those no-hitters were seven-inning contests.

Canisius took the lead in the fifth inning, which started with a leadoff walk to junior Shane Zimmer. After Zimmer moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball, he scored on an RBI double from sophomore Connor Panas. An RBI groundout from sophomore Mike Krische scored Panas and put Canisius up 2-0. The Griffs doubled their lead in the seventh, as Zimmer started this rally with a leadoff single. Senior Chris Gruarin pinch ran for Zimmer and stole second and third. An RBI triple from junior Ronnie Bernick scored Gruarin and an RBI double from Krische put Canisius up by four.

The Griffs broke the game open with a four-run ninth inning, getting a two-RBI single from senior Christian Segar, an RBI triple from junior Jesse Kelso and an RBI single from junior Jimmy Luppens.

Game One – Canisius 7, Iona 0

Sophomore Devon Stewart threw a seven-inning shutout against Iona for the second consecutive season. Stewart (2-3) needed only 83 pitches in the game, allowed two hits, hit one batter and struck out five.

Iona (3-23, 0-6 MAAC) mounted the first threat, getting runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the second. Gruarin ended the rally with a diving catch in right field for the third out of the inning. The Griffs took the lead in the top of the third without getting a hit as freshman Anthony Massicci drew a leadoff walk. After moving to second on a passed ball, Bernick moved Massicci to third base with a sacrifice bunt. Massicci eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Segar.

The Griffs added a run in the fifth when Segar singled with one out and scored on a triple from Kelso. Canisius broke the game open in the sixth, scoring five runs on just one hit and taking advantage of three Iona errors. Sophomore Mike Booth led off and was hit by a pitch. Panas laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error put runners at the corners. Massicci followed with another bunt to score Booth and advance Panas to second. A double from Bernick scored Panas and made the score 4-0. Krische reached on the second error of the inning, advancing to second on the miscue with Bernick scoring on the play. Krische stole third and after Kelso walked, the junior stole second to put two runners into scoring position. Luppens hit a ball to center that was misplayed for a three-base error, scoring Kelso and Krische and making the score 7-0.

Canisius returns to the field on Wednesday, with a doubleheader at Cornell. First pitch in Ithaca is set for 2 p.m.

Game Notes: Stewart has not allowed a run 14 career innings against the Gaels, giving up seven hits, walking one and striking out 12 in the two starts while averaging 87 pitches…  The Canisius pitching staff has now thrown four shutouts on the season, already tied for the most in the last 20 years… The Griffs have a five-game winning streak for the third time in 2013… Segar went 7-for-11 in the series with five steals, four runs scored and four RBI… Canisius posted 15 steals in the three games and now has 63 steals in 26 games… Bernick was 5-for-10 with two doubles and a triples against Iona… Fitzsimmons has struck out eight batters in his last three appearances (3.2 innings).

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