TRENTON, N.J. – Second-seeded Marist suffered a 2-1 loss to third-seeded Canisius in the opening round of the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Baseball Championships on Thursday at Arm & Hammer Park. The Red Foxes will return to action on Friday in an elimination game scheduled for 3 p.m.
Canisius’ Garrett Cortright tossed a complete game one-hitter. The only run he allowed was unearned. Cortright hit two batters, but did not walk anyone, and struck out seven. He threw 69 of his 98 pitches for strikes. The Red Foxes’ lone hit was a two-out double by senior first baseman Mike Orefice (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) in the first inning.
Marist scored the game’s first run in the second inning. Sophomore left fielder Steve Laurino (Carle Place, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior right fielder Jake Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.). With two outs, Laurino scored from second on an infield error.
Canisius tied the game in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk by left fielder Jesse Kelso. In the sixth, the Golden Griffins scored what proved to be the winning run when center fielder Mike Krische reached on a fielder’s choice, which brought home catcher Brooklyn Foster.
The Golden Griffins put the first and second runners of the inning on base in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Cortright did not allow a baserunner after the fourth inning as he improved to 11-3 on the season.
Marist senior right-hander Chris Bielak (Sayreville, N.J.) took the loss and fell to 7-3. Bielak allowed four hits, two runs (one earned) and five walks in six-plus innings, and struck out three.
Junior right-hander Chris Thorsen (Lititz, Pa.) went 1.1 scoreless innings, and junior left-hander Jordan Eich (Spencerport, N.Y.) closed the game with 1.2 scoreless innings. Thorsen entered the game with runners on first and second and no outs in the seventh, and escaped the jam with a force play at third on a bunt, a pickoff/caught stealing, and a base hit in which freshman center fielder Matt Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) and Orefice combined to throw a runner out at the plate. Eich retired all four batters he faced, and recorded another out on a caught stealing.
Marist will face the loser of Thursday night’s game between top-seeded Rider and fourth-seeded Siena on Friday, with the loser being eliminated from the championships. The Rider-Siena game started at 9 p.m.