Fairfield falls in MAAC Championship opener, move to elimination game

Photo of Maggie Vanoni
Fairfield coach Bill Currier is in his ninth season with the Stags. Prior to comin to Fairfield he spent 22 seasons as the head coach at his alma-mater Vermont, amassing 486 wins. He has 736 total career wins.

Fairfield coach Bill Currier is in his ninth season with the Stags. Prior to comin to Fairfield he spent 22 seasons as the head coach at his alma-mater Vermont, amassing 486 wins. He has 736 total career wins.

Bennett Scarborough / Fairfield University Athletics

Fairfield baseball suffered its second loss of the season Wednesday afternoon, dropping the opening game of the MAAC Championship round to No. 4 seed Canisius, 4-1, at Alumni Diamond.

The top-seeded Stags, who earned the hosting rights being the highest remaining seed in the double-elimination conference tournament, will move on to Thursday’s elimination game for the chance at redemption and staying in the MAAC Championship.

Fairfield will face No. 2 Monmouth at 11 a.m. on Thursday. The Hawks lost to No. 3 Rider 9-5 on Wednesday. The Stags swept both Rider and Monmouth in individual four-game series in April.

Fairfield (35-2) took the lead with its lone run on a leadoff home run by junior infielder Justin Guerrera - his 12th of the season — in the bottom of the fourth. The Griffins (20-14) tied the game a half inning later, then scored three runs in the sixth on back-to-back RBIs and a wild pitch from Fairfield’s Bryson Cafaro.

Junior left-handed pitcher Michael Sansone (8-1) allowed seven hits while striking out eight in 5.2 innings.

The Stags are hosting the tournament’s Championship Round for the first time in the 70-year history of Alumni Diamond with hopes of winning the championship for the program’s second automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.

Fairfield reached Wednesday’s Championship Round after sweeping No. 8 Manhattan (2-1, 8-5) Thursday in the tournament’s quarterfinal round. The Stags’ only other loss was 6-1 to Siena on May 2.

maggie.vanoni@hearstmediact.com