The Canisius College baseball team broke open the game with 14 straight runs en route to a 24-12 win over the University at Buffalo in the home opener at the Demske Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon. The Golden Griffins improve to 7-5 on the season.
Six Golden Griffins had multi-hit games, with sophomore Jimmy Luppens going 5-for-6 with three runs scored, four RBI, a home run and two doubles. Junior Chris Gruarin went 3-for-5 with four runs scored, two home runs and a career-high six RBI. Sophomore Shane Zimmer was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI. Sophomore Jose Torralba had a career-high five RBI, including a grand slam as the Golden Griffins hit five homers on the day.
Buffalo took a quick 1-0 lead before the Griffs came back with four runs in the bottom of the first. Gruarin scored sophomore Ronnie Bernick with a ground-rule double over the centerfield fence, Zimmer had a two-RBI double and sophomore Jesse Kelso had an RBI triple to right center.
The Bulls went up 7-4 as they hit a home run in each of the first three innings on a windy day at the Demske Sports Complex. Canisius scored the next six runs, tying the game with a three-run homer from Luppens to right center - the first homer of his career. Canisius took the lead in the fourth with a two-out, two-RBI double from Zimmer to the gap in left center. Luppens followed with a single past the third baseman to score Zimmer and make it 10-7.
Buffalo tied the game at 10-10 with two more home runs in the top of the fifth, but the Griffs held them scoreless until the ninth as Canisius scored 14 consecutive runs to break the game open. Gruarin had a three-run homer in the fifth to make it 13-10. Canisius added seven runs in the sixth, starting with a sacrifice fly from junior Christian Segar. A walk to Bernick loaded the bases, and Torralba followed with his grand slam over the left-field fence. Gruarin then had a two-run homer, the second of his day, to go up 20-10. Canisius scored two more runs in the seventh and eighth innings - scoring on an RBI groundout from Torralba and sacrifice fly from senior Drew Pettit in the seventh. Junior Brooklyn Foster hit his second homer of the season, a two-run shot in the eighth.
Senior Alex Tufts (1-1) earned the win, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings of relief. Freshman Aaron Casper started for the Griffs and went two innings in his first collegiate appearance. Freshman Eric Stolzenburg and Ryan Fennell combined for the final three outs in the ninth.
Canisius begins its nine-game spring break trip with a three-game series at No. 23 and undefeated Kentucky. First pitch in Lexington on Friday is set for 4 p.m.
Notes: Canisius improves to 12-11 all-time in home openers at the Demske Sports Complex... Canisius wins the home opener for the fourth time in the last five seasons... Canisius has now won seven of the last nine against Buffalo... Canisius had one home run in the opening 11 games of the season... Torralba's grand slam was the first of his career... The five home runs were the most by the Griffs since they had five against Manhattan on May 8, 2010... Canisius scored at least 20 runs in the home opener for the second straight year and have scored at least 20 runs in a home game in each of the last five seasons... The two-homer game was the first of Gruarin's career.