The Canisius College baseball team defeated St. Bonaventure University 4-3 at Fred Handler Park in Olean, N.Y. on Tuesday afternoon. With their fourth win in the last six games, the Golden Griffins improve to 12-13 on the season.
Canisius scored three runs in the top of the first inning, all coming with two outs. After junior Manny Hernandez had a one-out single, sophomore Shane Zimmer replaced him at first base after a fielder's choice. Sophomore Jose Torralba followed with an RBI double to score Zimmer. After freshman Connor Panas singled to shortstop, sophomore Jimmy Luppens hit a two-RBI triple to make it 3-0. The Griffs added their fourth, and final, run of the day in the fourth inning on a solo homer from Luppens.
Freshman Rohn Pierce pitched into the seventh inning, only allowing three baserunners in his first six innings of work. The Bonnies mounted a rally in the seventh, using an RBI single from Ryan Skellie and a two-RBI double from Michael Meredith that made it 4-3 and ended Pierce's day. Freshman Eric Stolzenburg came into the game and got Eric Jutca to ground out to first to end the inning.
Four Canisius relievers combined to throw 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, including sophomore Jon Fitzsimmons who got the final four outs of the game to record his sixth save of the season. Pierce (1-1) picked up his first career win, allowing three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out five in 6.2 innings.
Canisius returns to the Demske Sports Complex for the first of six straight home games on Wednesday, with first pitch against the University at Buffalo set for 4 p.m.
Notes: With the win, Canisius snapped a seven-game losing streak in one-run games... Of the 20 hits for Luppens this season, six are of the extra-base variety. He has a .660 slugging percentage in 2012... Freshman Jesse Puscheck started at designated hitter and had the first multi-hit game of his career... Fitzsimmons now has 14 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched this season and is averaging 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings... Junior Chris Gruarin batted in the leadoff spot for the fourth time in his career and first time since May 4, 2011, at Le Moyne... In his last eight starts, Hernandez is 13-for-29 with six runs scored... Panas extended his hitting streak to six games... The 6.2 innings pitched are a career high for Pierce... Torralba made his first career appearance at the No. 4 spot in the order... Zimmer extended his consecutive games streak of reaching base to 32 games. The sophomore also made his first start of the season in the outfield.