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Canisius baseball's walk-off win clinches postseason berth


With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cyrus Senior drew a two-out walk to lift the Canisius baseball team over the Manhattan Jaspers, 3-2 at the Demske Sports Complex on Sunday. The walk-off win clinched the Griffs 11th-straight MAAC tournament appearance, the longest such streak in the conference. With the win Canisius improved to 31-19 overall and 14-7 in MAAC play, while Manhattan dropped to 15-33 overall and 9-12 in MAAC action.

Jake Burlingame gave the Griffs a slim one-run advantage after belting a home run over the centerfield wall in the bottom of the seventh inning, however an error in the top of the ninth inning helped Manhattan plate the game-tying run.

Canisius didn't wait long in bouncing back, as Mark McKenna singled to start the bottom of the ninth inning and was moved over on a sacrifice bunt by Stephen Bennett. A Burlingame single moved McKenna over to third before, the freshman was cut down in a fielders choice to put runners at the corners with two outs.

Jake Lumley was intentionally walks to load up the bases for the games' hero, Senior. The Blue and Gold outfielder pushed the count to 3-2 before a pitch outside of the zone issued Senior the free pass and sealed the game for Canisius.

Zachary Sloan got the start and worked 6.0 innings and allowed just three hits and fanned a pair in the no-decision. Will Frank came on in relief and worked 1.1 frames and yielded a pair of hits. Michael Ginther retired the one batter he faced before Tyler Smith worked the final 1.1 innings, and allowed one hit and one unearned run. Smith earned his third win of the year to improve to 3-0.

McKenna led the team on offense with three hits in four at bats and tallied a run. Burlingame, Gage Lanning and Senior all had RBI for the Golden Griffins.

With the win Canisius notched its 11th straight postseason berth, continuing the longest streak in the MAAC. Also the series win against Manhattan, helped Canisius record its eighth-straight season with 30-or-more wins. Canisius also has an opportunity for the most MAAC wins in a season since the Griffs' 20 wins in 2014, as the squad has a chance to get 17 with a series sweep against Niagara.

Canisius readies for the final week of the season on Monday, as the team faces St. Bonaventure in a midweek contest on Tuesday beginning at 1 p.m. and then takes on Niagara in a three-game set beginning with a doubleheader on Thursday and single game Friday. The doubleheader is slated for noon with the finale also scheduled for noon.