Troy, N.Y. - Canisius College sophomore Jose Torralba drilled a single over the right fielder's head with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to give the Golden Griffins a 2-1 walk-off victory over Fairfield University in the second game of the 2012 MAAC Baseball Championship at Joe Bruno Stadium.
After a two hour and fifteen minute rain delay, the two starters went toe-to-toe in a classic duel. Canisius' Garrett Cortright threw eight innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and two walks, striking out six. Fairfield's Scott Warwick pitched into the ninth without allowing an earned run before loading the bases prior to the game-winning hit.
The Griffs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as sophomore Mike Krische led off with a single to center field. He stole second base and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Krische then scored on an RBI groundout from sophomore Jimmy Luppens.
The Stags tied the game in the third as Alex Witkus and Ryan Plourde were each hit by a pitch while Dean Sadik had a single to load the bases with two outs. Jack Giannini then singled to right to score Witkus, but Sadik was held at third. Junior Chris Gruarin threw to second base and sophomore Ronnie Bernick applied the tag on Plourde to end the rally and give Gruarin his 10th outfield assist of the season.
Fairfield had base runners in the eighth and ninth innings as Sadik was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth. After a sacrifice bunt, Cortright then got two groundouts to get out of the inning. In the ninth, pinch hitter Rob LoPinto drew a leadoff walk off reliever Nathan Linseman. However, Sebastian Salvo struck out when trying to bunt with two strikes and he fouled a pitch off. Sophomore Jon Fitzsimmons (3-1) came into the game and got a fly out and strikeout to end the threat.
Luppens had his second opposite-field single of the day, going to right field with one out to start the rally in the ninth. After a walk to pinch hitter Connor Panas, junior Brooklyn Foster also drew a walk to load the bases. Torralba fell behind 0-2 in the count and then sent the 1-2 pitch over the drawn-in right fielder's head to easily score pinch runner Christian Segar and give the Griffs their first walk-off win of the season.
Canisius will face #4 Rider University at 7 p.m. tomorrow night with a spot in the championship round at stake. Fairfield will play at 3 p.m. in an elimination game against top-seed Manhattan College. Both games can be seen live on MAAC.TV.