Courtesy: Fairfield University

Stags Fall to Marist, Prepare for Elimination Game at MAAC Championship

Courtesy: Fairfield University
May 26, 2017

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – If the Fairfield University baseball team is going to successfully defend their title, they are going to have to do it the hard way. The Stags dropped their first MAAC Championship game of the tournament to the second-seeded Marist Red Foxes by an 11-8 count. The setback drops the Stags into the loser's bracket as they will await the winner of the Iona and Canisius contest later tonight.

The Stags (31-23) trailed 6-2 in the fifth, before making it a one-run game on a couple of occasions. Marist got that lead by starting off aggressive against Fairfield starter Gavin Wallace, as the Red Foxes hit line drive after line drive through the first four innings. Marist tallied eight singles through the first three innings, including picking up a run in both the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead.

The Stags showed some signs of life as they finally came around in the third. Tyler Gambardella started with a walk and would score Fairfield's first run on a RBI triple by Jack Gethings. The sophomore would plate the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Radziewicz.

That momentum was short lived as the Red Foxes got the advantage back in the next frame when their catcher Matt Pagano launched a solo shot into right center to give Marist a 3-2 lead.

Marist looked like they had blown the game open by scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning without getting a hit. The inning was comprised of a couple walks and a pair of throwing errors that allowed the runs to score.

With Gambardella leading off the fifth, the Stags mounted another rally, which was once again highlighted by Gethings. The third baseman launched a RBI double that one-hopped the right field wall, which scored Gambardella. Radziewicz would put the Stags within a single run as he lined a two-run single that put the score at 6-5. That hit would also chase the 2017 MAAC Pitcher of the Year Charlie Jerla as he finished the day allowing five runs on seven hits.

Just like they did all day long, Marist continued to fight to get the momentum back. In the sixth, the Red Foxes loaded the bases with three-straight walks, one intentional, with nobody out. After the Stags got an important out with a groundout, Andrew Rouse gave Marist another insurance run with a sacrifice fly.

The bullpen for Marist was impressive as John Parisi was able to shut down the Fairfield bats for two innings before Scocca gapped a RBI double in the seventh. Mike Coss would come in for relief and would get the final out with the tying run in scoring position.

Scocca and Crispino led the Stags with three hits apiece while Radziewicz was the team leader with three RBI.

With the setback, the Stags will drop to the loser's bracket and will face the winner of the Iona and Canisius matchup. If the Griffs win, the two will play later tonight, if Iona wins the matchup will be tomorrow morning.

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