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Frannies deals Canisius a loss

The Monsignor Martin Association is shaping up to be quite competitive in baseball this spring, and the calendar hasn’t even hit May.

St. Francis, the Georgetown Cup runner-up last year, earned its first win of the season Thursday by beating perennial contender Canisius, 2-0.

The Red Raiders (1-5, 1-3) became the second team this week to beat the previously unbeaten Crusaders as St. Mary’s earned a 7-2 win on Tuesday over Canisius – the Lancers’ first win over the Crusaders in four years. In that game, Canisius hitters were stymied by the pitching of Brian Dudek, who scattered five hits.

On Thursday, Matt Minnick proved to be even stingier, yielding just three hits while striking out eight for St. Francis.

“Should be tight this year,” said St. Francis coach Paul Bartell, whose club dropped an 8-5 decision to St. Mary’s on Monday and have also lost to Orchard Park and St. Joe’s. “This is a bit unusual [for us]. I thought we’d get off to a better start,” than this. “We have a veteran group back. It just hasn’t gone the way we expected but hopefully this will turn things around for us and get us back on track.”

Matt Michalski’s two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth broke the scoreless knot.

Eden walks away with win

Brian Loseo’s full-count walk with two out and the bases loaded plated winning pitcher Brad Palmerton with the decisive run in the bottom of the seventh as Eden edged Cleveland Hill, 2-1, in ECIC IV baseball.

Palmerton led off the inning with a single. Matt Bialy followed with a bunt single and then David Baskerville walked. After two strikeouts, Loseo took a full-count offering high to help the Raiders improve to 4-2 in league and 4-4 overall.

“It’s a big boost for us,” Eden coach Eric Cooper said. “I’ve got a young team this year. I start a freshman and two sophomores.”

Elsewhere, Ryan Stekl went 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs as Lancaster beat Orchard Park, 4-3. Ted Wilson earned the win. Tom LaCongo homered to highlight a 2-for-3 day for OP

Clarence shows why it’s No. 1

For the second time this week, Clarence showed No. 2 Hamburg who’s No. 1 in softball in Western New York.

The defending state Class AA champions and top team in the area held on for a 3-2 win over the Bulldogs. Clarence beat Hamburg on Tuesday, 3-0.

Kelsey Henderson’s two-out, two-run double with a two-strike count completed the unbeaten Red Devils’ three-run fourth inning. Kaycee Farcasso led off the inning with a single and later came around to score on a fielder’s choice.

The Bulldogs scored once in the sixth and seventh innings but stranded the tying run at third base in the final inning. Katrina Buczkowski struck out five and yielded just four hits to improve to 8-0 on the season.

Pitcher Bridget Hogan gave up just two hits in the loss for Hamburg.

“This is a big one for us,” Clarence coach Todd Banaszak said of the win. “Hamburg threatened late. They ended the game with a runner at third. To put pressure on the kids late in the game and be able to hold on it was good to be able to fight through that and be able to hold onto the lead. It builds your character.”

The Red Devils visit ECIC I league rival Lancaster today.

Katie Mazierski went 3 for 3 with three runs scored and Lexy Gibson went 3 for 4 as Niagara-Wheatfield beat Lockport, 8-3, in the Niagara Frontier League to remain unbeaten on the season.

The Falcons are 5-0 overall, 4-0 in league.