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Christ Conley’s walk-off single leads Canisius baseball to sweep of Marist

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

No alternative text provided.BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Senior Christ Conley's single through the right-side of the infield with two outs in the bottom of the ninth knocked in a pair of runs to lift the Canisius baseball team to a 4-3 win over Marist Friday afternoon at the Demske Sports Complex. The victory, Canisius' fourth straight and the seventh in its last nine contests, moved the team to 31-20 overall and 16-8 in MAAC play, while the Red Foxes close out the regular season with a 26-21 overall record to go with a 14-10 mark in conference action. 
 
Canisius trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth after Marist scored three times in the sixth to take the lead. Senior Nick Capitano drew a one-out walk for the Golden Griffins and was replaced by pinch-runner, juniorCanice Ejoh. Senior John Conti reached base moments later after he was hit by a pitch, moving Ejoh to second. Marist reliever Brandon Bonomo got a strikeout for the second out of the inning, setting the stage for Conley's late-game heroics.
 
Ejoh and Conti moved 90-feet closer to home by stealing third, and second base, on a double-steal, during Conley's at-bat. Conley, who was appearing in his 194th career game as a Griff, drilled the 1-1 offering from Bonomo through the right-side of the infield, allowing Ejoh and Conti to score, giving the Blue and Gold its second walk-off victory in less than 24 hours after the Griffs won the second game of a MAAC twinbill on Thursday thanks to a Marist wild-pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning.
 
The Griffs struck first win a pair of runs in the home-half of the third to take a 2-0 lead. Senior Liam Wilson got the scoring going with an RBI-single to left that knocked in Conti, and moments later, Wilson was a part of a double-steal that allowed senior Cyrus Senior to score from third base.
 
The 2-0 lead held through five full frames for the Griffs, as senior starting pitcher Charlie Sobieraski held the Red Foxes hitless through five innings of play. In the top of the sixth, however, Marist's Reece Armitage ended Sobieraski's no-hit bid with a lead-off single. That base hit started a scoring rally for Marist, as the Red Foxes used an RBI-single, a hit-batter with the bases loaded and a Canisius defensive error to score three times for a 3-2 lead.
 
Canisius junior Andrew Kneussle earned the win on the hill after he threw 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, where he allowed two hits and fanned six to go with two walks. Sobieraski went 5.1 innings in his final start on the mound at the Demske Sports Complex and was lifted after he gave up three runs, two earned, on two hits while striking out three and walking one. The win improved Kneussle to 2-3 on the year.
 
Bonomo took the loss for Marist after he allowed two runs on one hit while striking out six and walking three in 5.2 innings of work.   
 
GAME NOTES
• The sweep of Marist allows Canisius to post a 16-8 MAAC record in each of the last four seasons.
• The walk-off win on Friday is the program's 22nd walk-off victory since 2007. It also serves as the Griffs' first walk-off win over Marist since May 2, 2015 when Canisius defeated the Red Foxes 4-2 on the power of a two-run homer in the ninth by former Griff Connor Panas.
• The Griffs closed out the regular season with an 11-4 mark at home, the 12th straight season where the team had a winning record at the Demske Sports Complex.
• Conley extended his on-base streak to 11 games with the single in the ninth.
• Conti's two runs scored in the victory are a season high for the Niagara Falls, N.Y., native.
• Wilson's RBI-single in the third inning gives him an RBI in four-straight games and in 11 of the team's last 15 contests.
• The six strikeouts for Kneussle matched a career-high for the Platsburgh, N.Y., native.  
 
UP NEXT
Canisius will head to Staten Island, N.Y., to take part in the 2018 MAAC Baseball Championship, which will be played at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the New York-Penn League's Staten Island Yankees. The MAAC Championship is set to run from May 23-26, and every game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.