Games 53-55: Canisius College (23-29, 10-9 MAAC) vs. Niagara University (7-38, 4-17 MAAC)
Location: Buffalo, N.Y. — Demske Sports Complex
Dates: May 19, 2011 — Noon (DH)
May 20, 2011 — Noon
- The Canisius College baseball team wraps up its 2011 regular season against rival Niagara University in a three-game series at the Demske Sports Complex.
- The Golden Griffins control their own destiny to clinch a spot in next week’s MAAC Championship for the fifth consecutive season. A three-game sweep guarantees a postseason berth while winning two of three games should also get Canisius into the postseason (see Postseason Breakdown section.)
- Canisius has won the last four series against Niagara and 13 of the last 16 meetings between the teams.
- Canisius has won 23 of its last 31 MAAC series and is 64-27 in the last four seasons in MAAC play.
- Since dropping a doubleheader to St. Bonaventure on April 18, 2007, the Golden Griffins are 52-18 in home games at the Demske Sports Complex.
- Canisius has won 15 of its last 18 conference series at home.
- Canisius has won 23 of its last 28 conference games at the home.
- Canisius has won 16 of its last 18 MAAC home games in the month of May.
- On May 5, senior Sean Jamieson was one of 25 shortstops nationally to be named to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List.
- Jamieson is ranked nationally in a number of categories — 18th in runs (55), 24th in home runs (13), 76th in RBI (49), 46th in on-base percentage (.479), 19th in slugging percentage (.692) and 53rd in stolen bases (21).
- In MAAC play, Jamieson leads the conference in slugging (.719), on-base percentage (.538), runs scored (25) and walks (16), is second in HR (five) and third in steals (eight).
- Jamieson and junior Drew Pettit were each named to the Capital One Academic All District I First Team. Both players have now moved on to Academic All-America® voting, which will be announced on Tuesday.
- Pettit leads the MAAC with a .453 batting average in conference play.
- Redshirt senior Shane Davis has 34 career victories, which ranks him second in the country among active players, behind Seth Maness from East Carolina.
- Davis’ next start will be his 55th, tying him for Mike Goemans for most in program history.
- The next game played by senior Brian Burton is the 200th of his career.
- Since March 29 (29 games), the Canisius bullpen has a 2.52 ERA during that stretch, covering 78.2 innings. Canisius opponents have a 4.67 bullpen ERA in those 29 games.
- Since March 29 (29 games), the Canisius defense has posted a .977 fielding percentage, committing just 23 errors in that time frame.
- As of May 16, Canisius is tied for fifth nationally with 20 outfield assists as a team.
- Canisius has scored three or fewer runs in 13 of the last 17 games games and has dropped 14 of its last 18 one-run games.
- Canisius has 139 wins since the start of the 2008 season, ranking third among Division I teams in the Northeast region. The Golden Griffins only trail Connecticut (148) and St. John’s (145).
- Canisius has won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in two of the last three seasons (2008 and 2010) and advanced to the postseason in each of the last four seasons.
- Canisius coach Mike McRae is in his seventh season at Canisius, and has a 186-192 record with the Golden Griffins, including 139-85 (.621) since the start of the 2008 season. He is a three-time MAAC Coach of the Year, including 2008 and 2010 with the Golden Griffins.
- McRae won his 250th career game in the 1-0 win over Fairfield on Monday.
- Canisius has used 50 different batting lineups in 52 games this season.
- Entering the final series of the regular season, the Golden Griffins control their own destiny to clinch a spot in the postseason.
- With a three-game sweep of Niagara, the Golden Griffins will clinch a MAAC Championship berth. Canisius would end up 13-9 in MAAC play.
- If the Golden Griffins win two of three games, there is only one way Canisius can’t clinch a postseason berth. If the Marist-Siena (both teams are 12-9) series only plays two games and the teams split those two games, then Canisius would be 12-10 (.545) and Marist/Siena would be 13-10 (.565).
- If the Golden Griffins win at least two of three games and the Marist-Siena series is played to completion, Canisius would clinch a postseason berth, possibly by percentage points. If Marist or Siena wins two of three games, Canisius would be 12-10 (.545) and Marist or Siena would be 13-11 (.542).
- If Canisius wins one or zero games, the Griffs will not make the postseason.
- Canisius could finish as the three seed or four seed.
CLOSING THE SEASON STRONG
- During the last five seasons, the Golden Griffins have played some of their best baseball during the month of May.
- Canisius has won 16 of its last 18 MAAC home games in the month of May, winning its last six home series in May.
- The last time Canisius lost a home series in the month of May came May 18-19, 2006, against Manhattan.
- In the last five seasons, Canisius is 34-13 in MAAC regular-season games in May.
- Niagara enters the final weekend of ther regular season with a 7-38 overall record and 4-17 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Niagara is 1-8 in MAAC road games.
- Since winning two of three against Iona (April 15-17), the Purple Eagles have dropped 11 of their last 12 games, with the lone winning coming in a 5-4, 11-inning win over first-place Manhattan when Niagara gave the Jaspers their first MAAC loss of the season.
- In MAAC play, Niagara is hitting .251, has a team ERA of 6.15 and a team fielding percentage of .943. The Purple Eagles’ saff has 88 walks compared to 65 strikeouts in MAAC games.
- Adam Wagner leads the team with a .323 batting average, while Cam Stykemain is hitting .306. John Wilson leads Niagara with six home runs and 27 RBI.
- Kody Kasper has made a team-high 12 starts and is 0-9 with a 6.21 ERA. Drew Fittry is 3-6 with a 6.50 ERA while Joel Klock is 0-9 in nine starts (two complete games) with a 7.58 ERA. The 11 pitchers on Niagara’s staff have each made at least nine appearances and have an ERA between 6.07 and 9.64.
BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE MATCHUP
- This matchup for Canisius and Niagara is the final of two Battle of the Bridge contests between the schools in all sports this athletic season.
- At the MAAC Golf Championship at the end of April, Canisius clinched the 2010-11 competition. Canisius has 18 points and Niagara has 13 points.
- The Battle of the Bridge is an all-sports competition between the schools. The school that wins the baseball series earns two points.
- Canisius has now won three of the last four competitions. Niagara reclaimed the Canal Cup last season after Canisius won in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Niagara won the inaugural competition in 2006-07.