The Canisius College baseball team is one win away from defending its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship.
A win over Siena today at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J., will not only clinch the title, but give the Griffs the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Siena won two games on Saturday, beating Monmouth, 6-5, and Fairfield, 4-3.
NCAA rules prohibit teams from playing three games in one day, so the title game was pushed to today.
Canisius brings a 40-14 record and an 18-game winning streak into the noon contest. It’s the second consecutive season the Griffs have won 40 games, and the winning streak is the longest in the country.
They advanced to the final after defeating Quinnipiac 10-1 and Fairfield, 6-2.
Canisius won last year’s final, 12-11 on a walk-off bases loaded hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the ninth.
Elsewhere, the University at Buffalo saw its season come to an end in extra innings of a loser’s bracket game of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The Bulls gave up a bases-loaded walk in the 12th inning in a 5-4 loss to Akron in a marathon that lasted 4:12. The Zips manufactured the game-winning run as James Meeker led off with a single, Matt Rembielak walked and Matt LaRocca had a bunt single. With the bases loaded and nobody out, leadoff batter James Sheltrown drew a walk to drive in the winning run.
The Zips will play for their first MAC title in 18 years against rival Kent State today in Avon, Ohio.
The Bulls had their share of chances to score late in the game. They had a runner thrown out at home in the ninth and had runners reach third base in the 10th and 11th. The Bulls (26-26) left 15 runners on base.
TRACK AND FIELD: In Delaware, Ohio, Buffalo State’s Rich Pete clinched his third All-America honor of his career, placing eighth in the triple jump with 47 feet, 8 inches. Pete joins Cory Cox (long jump) as the only Bengals to earn All-America at the NCAA Division III meet this year.