Date: May 17-18, 2012
Sites: May 17 Doubleheader: Sal Maglie Stadium (Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
May 18 Game: Bobo Field (Lewiston, N.Y.)
Probables: (*Based on rotation from most recent series)
Game 1: RHP Garrett Cortright (6-6, 3.75 ERA) vs. RHP Drew Fittry (4-2, 4.97 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Devon Stewart (4-4, 4.15 ERA) vs. LHP Jim Fort (3-3, 6.88 ERA)
Game 3: RHP Billy Martin (6-4, 4.71 ERA) vs. RHP Joel Klock (1-2, 6.27 ERA)
- The Canisius College baseball team concludes its 2012 regular-season schedule with a three-game series at rival Niagara University on Thursday and Friday.
- The series is the final part of the Battle of the Bridge competition. Canisius holds a 16.5 to 14.5 lead in points in the all-sports competition and has clinched at least a tie for the 2011-12 season. The Griffs will retain the Canal Cup for the third straight year. If Canisius wins the series, or the teams split two games, the Griffs will win the competition outright.
- The Golden Griffins clinched their sixth straight postseason appearance on Sunday, taking two of three games in last weekend’s series at Marist College.
- Canisius currently sits alone in second place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings at 13-8 in league play, two games behind first-place Manhattan (15-6) and one game ahead of third-place Fairfield (12-9).
- Canisius can earn the one, two or three seed in the 2012 MAAC Championship (May 24-27 at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, N.Y.).
- Niagara leads the all-time series 76-72. Canisius has won the last five MAAC series between the teams and has a 15-4 record over the Purple Eagles in the last five years.
- Canisius is 29-10 in MAAC series during the past four-plus seasons, including 12 three-game sweeps and one two-game sweep.
- Canisius won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season title in 2008 and 2010 and is second in the MAAC with a .687 winning percentage (79-36) in conference play during the last four-plus seasons.
- Canisius coach Mike McRae is in his eighth season at Canisius, and has a 217-219 record with the Golden Griffins, including 170-115 (.596) 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 200th game with Canisius in the 7-3 win in the second game of the March 23 doubleheader against Siena.
- McRae has led the Golden Griffins to the postseason in six straight seasons after on appearance in the previous 17 years (1994).
- The program advanced to the championship round of the MAAC Tournament in 2009 and 2010 -- the first appearances in program history.
- Sophomore Shane Zimmer set the program’s single-season walks record in the April 24 game against Akron. Zimmer has 46 walks on the season, breaking the mark of 39 walks set by Kevin Mahoney during the 2009 season.
- Sophomore Jon Fitzsimmons owns the program’s single-season and career saves records, totaling 11 saves so far this season. Fitzsimmons broke the single-season mark of seven saves, set by Ryan McGorman (2008) and Shayne Willson (2010) and now has 12 career saves, breaking the mark of 11 held by McGorman and Willson.
- On May 3, senior Drew Pettit was named to the Capital One All-Academic District I First Team. Pettit, a 2011 Capital One First-Team Academic All-American, moves on to the national ballot with All-America honors being released at the end of May.
- Canisius starting pitchers are averaging 2.78 walks per nine innings, the lowest mark in the eight years under McRae.
- Canisius starting pitchers are averaging 6.4 innings per start in MAAC play, the highest average in the conference.
- In league play, the Canisius bullpen has a 3.79 ERA in 35 and two-thirds innings pitched.
- Canisius has 170 wins since the start of the 2008 season, ranking fourth among Division I teams in the Northeast region. The Golden Griffins trail Connecticut (183), St. John’s (183) and Stony Brook (174).
- Canisius was projected first in a tight MAAC preseason coaches poll. The Griffs received 61 of a possible 90 points, followed by Rider (60), Manhattan (59), Iona (56) and Marist (53).
- Pettit and sophomore Jose Torralba were named to the preseason all-MAAC team in February.
- Niagara enters the weekend with a 19-26 overall record and 7-13 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
- The Purple Eagles are 7-5 at home this season, sweeping Saint Peter’s and Marist (two games) while getting swept by Fairfield.
- Niagara is hitting .271 in conference play, which ranks fourth in the MAAC. The Purple Eagles are ninth in the conference in ERA (5.28) and fifth in fielding percentage (.959).
- Ryan McCauley leads the team MAAC in batting average (.374), slugging percentage (.707), RBI (50) and home runs (12). Joel Klock leads the league in on-base percentage (.460) while Wynton Bernard leads the MAAC in stolen bases (31).
- Drew Fittry has made a team-best 13 starts on the season, posting a 4-2 record and a 4.97 ERA. Six different Purple Eagles have made at least four starts.