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Pitching fails as Griffs are eliminated in NCAA baseball

That was quick.

Canisius' stay in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament ended Saturday with an 8-2 loss to Gonzaga in an elimination game of the Minneapolis Regional.

Pitching let the Golden Griffins down as they dropped two straight games in play at Siebert Field on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

Canisius opponents batted .397 in the two NCAA games after hitting at a .240 rate up to then.

Saturday's game began with Canisius starter Andrew Sipowicz walking the first two batters he faced on 3-2 pitches. A single by Brandon Trube filled the bases before Austin Pinorini singled through the right side for two runs.

Canisius answered with a run in the bottom of the first when Christ Conley was hit by a pitch, Mark McKenna singled, the first of his four hits in the game, and Ryan Stekl's groundout produced a run.
Gonzaga, however, stretched its lead to 7-2 with two runs each in the third and fourth innings and a single run in the fifth. Gunnar Schubert drove in two of the Bulldogs' runs with a solo homer in the third and a triple in the fourth.

McKenna, a junior from Grand Island, raised his batting average to .333 for the season with his 4-for-4 day, three singles and a double.

The most effective pitching for Canisius came from senior closer Tyrone Smith, who pitched 2.2 innings of shutout ball, striking out three. By then it was too late, however.

Canisius ended its first season under coach Matt Mazurek with a 35-22 record, capped by its third Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

Gonzaga will face the loser of Saturday night's Minnesota-UCLA game in an elimination game on Sunday.



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