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Baseball Opens MAAC Championship Play Thursday
Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics  
Release: 05/23/2012
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The Canisius College baseball team heads to Troy, N.Y. to participate in the 2012 MAAC Baseball Championship. All games in the MAAC Championship will have a FREE audio broadcast on the GoGriffs.com and will be available on a pay-per-view video webstream on MAAC.TV.

No. 2 Canisius College (31-25) vs. No. 3 Fairfield University (27-26)
Date
: Thursday, May 24, 2012
Time: 7 p.m.
Site: Joe Bruno Stadium (Troy, N.Y.)
Video: MAAC.TV
Audio: GoGriffs.com
     Matt Lozar (p-x-p)

BATTING PRACTICE

  • The Canisius College baseball team is playing in the MAAC Championship for the sixth consecutive season, looking for the first postseason title in program history.
  • The Golden Griffins posted a 31-25 record during the regular season and a 16-8 record in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, earning the No. 2 seed in this weekend's four-team, double-elimination tournament.
  • Canisius has won 30-plus games for the fourth time in the last five seasons and also won 16 or more MAAC games for the fourth time in five years.
  • The 31 wins are the most by any MAAC team during the 2012 season.
  • Canisius is 30-10 in MAAC series during the past five including 13 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 .695 winning percentage (82-36) in conference play during the last five seasons.
  • Canisius coach Mike McRae is in his eighth season at Canisius, and has a 220-219 record with the Golden Griffins, including 173-115 (.601) 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 the program had one 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.
  • 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 on June 1.
  • Canisius has 173 wins since the start of the 2008 season, ranking fourth among Division I teams in the Northeast region. The Golden Griffins trail Connecticut (185), St. John’s (184) and Stony Brook (178).
  • 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.
  • Sophomore Shane Zimmer set the program’s single-season walks record in the April 24 game against Akron. Zimmer has 50 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.

PLAYING IN THE POSTSEASON FOR THE SIXTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

  • The Golden Griffins are playing in the postseason for the sixth consecutive season and seventh time in program history (1994).
  • Canisius is the No. 2 seed for the second time as the Golden Griffins were also the No. 2 seed in 2009. Canisius dropped its opening game in 2009 and then won three straight one-run games before falling to Marist in the decisive game of the championship round. That was the program’s first appearance in the championship round.
  • The Golden Griffins won their first postseason game in program history in a 16-7 elimination game win over Manhattan in 2008.
  • In 2010, Canisius won its opening MAAC Tournament game for the first time and eventually lost in the title round to Rider.
  • Canisius has won at least one game in the MAAC Championship in each of the last four years. The Griffs dropped both games as the No. 4 seed in the 2007 MAAC Championship.
  • Canisius and Manhattan have met in the postseason each of the last four years. The Jaspers defeated the Griffs 3-2 in the opening round in 2011. Prior to last year, Canisius had won four straight postseason games over Manhattan, including three elimination games.
  • Canisius and Rider have met in the postseason five times in the last four years. The Griffs eliminated the Broncs last year and in 2009 while Rider defeated Canisius twice in 2010. 
  • Canisius and Fairfield have never met in the postseason.

NOTING THE GRIFFS

  • Canisius enters the postseason on a four-game winning streak, its second-longest winning streak of the season. The Griffs won five straight from March 27-April 1.
  • Canisius has won eight of its last 10 games, matching its best 10-game stretch of the season.
  • The Griffs have scored seven or more runs in four straight games for the second time this season (March 17-23).
  • Canisius relievers have stranded 40 of 56 inherited runners (71.4 percent) in the last 30 games. Canisius started the year stranding 20 of the first 44 inherited runners (45.4 percent).
  • Canisius relievers have retired the first batter in 37 of their last 57 appearances (64.9 percent). Canisius relievers started the year allowing 38 of the 77 (49.4 percent) first batters they faced to reach base.
  • Canisius has used 55 different batting orders in 56 games this season, repeating the batting order in both games of the May 5 doubleheader against Iona.
  • Entering the postseason, Canisius is second in the MAAC in batting average (.278), fifth in ERA (4.77) and tied for second in fielding percentage (.968).
  • Canisius leads the MAAC in on-base percentage (.379) and is tied for first in stolen bases (76).
  • Canisius starting pitchers have received a decision in 19 of the last 23 games overall and in 18 of the last 21 MAAC games.
  • The Golden Griffins average a league-best 4.13 walks per game, .49 walks better than any other team.
  • The Griffs’ pitching staff allows 3.49 walks per game, which is the second-fewest in the MAAC, just behind Saint Peter’s (3.47).
  • Canisius has allowed 17 stolen bases in the last 34 games after allowing 28 stolen bases in the opening 22 games.
  • Canisius has allowed one run in the first inning in the 10 games during the month of May.
  • Canisius hit its first home run in the final game of the regular season, ending a span of 579 at-bats without a homer. It was the first homer since April 14.
  • Canisius starting pitchers are averaging 2.87 walks per nine innings, the lowest mark in the eight years under Mike McRae.
  • Canisius starting pitchers are averaging 6.3 innings per start in MAAC play, the highest average in the conference.
  • In league play, the Canisius bullpen has a 3.38 ERA in 45.1 innings pitched.

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