The Canisius baseball team won the opener 8-6 in eight innings before dropping the second game 4-3 at Longwood University on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Griffins extended their winning streak to five games before seeing it end in the walk-off loss. Canisius is now 8-5 on the season.
Game One - Canisius 8, Longwood 6 (8 Innings)
Each team got on the scoreboard in the first inning, with junior Ryan Coppinger reaching on an error to lead off the game. After Coppinger stole second, he moved to third on a groundout and scored on a two-out, RBI single from senior Chris Gruarin. The Lancers tied the game in the bottom of the inning and then took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the bottom of the third.
Canisius tied the game in the fifth with juniors Jesse Kelso and Jimmy Luppens leading off with back-to-back singles. Gruarin scored Kelso with an RBI double and later scored on an RBI groundout from sophomore Jesse Puscheck. The Griffs took the lead in the sixth as senior Manny Hernandez led off with a single and pinch runner Jose Torralba moved to second on fielder's interference and to third on a sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to Kelso, Luppens came through with the two-out, RBI double down the left-field line to give Canisius the 4-3 lead. Gruarin gave the Griffs an insurance run with his second two-out, RBI single of the day to score Kelso and put Canisius up by two runs. The Griffs pushed across another run in the seventh as sophomore Mike Booth reached after being hit by a pitch with one out. A single from Torralba moved Booth to second and an RBI single from junior Ronnie Bernick put Canisius up by three runs. The Griffs would need all of those runs as Longwood scored three unearned runs in the seventh, taking advantage of a one-out error from Puscheck, to force extra innings.
The Griffs bounced right back and scored two runs in the top of the eighth, starting with a leadoff single from Gruarin. After junior Shane Zimmer moved Gruarin to second with a grounder, Puscheck had the RBI single to right to score Gruarin. Pinch runner Christian Segar then stole second, stole third and scored on a wild pitch to put the Griffs up by two.
Sophomore Rohn Pierce started for the Griffs and allowed three runs six hits, walked one and struck out six in five innings. Junior Jon Fitzsimmons allowed the three unearned runs in the seventh but picked up the victory by retiring the side in order in the eighth. Fitzsimmons (2-0) struck out two in his three innings of work.
Game Two - Longwood 4, Canisius 3
Canisius got on the board in the top of the first again with sophomore Mike Krische leading off with a double. A one-out, RBI single from Kelso scored Krische. The junior then stole second base and scored on an RBI double from Gruarin. The Lancers got one back in the bottom of the first before the Griffs regained the two-run lead in the top of the third. Senior Brooklyn Foster started the two-out rally by being hit by a pitch, stole second and then scored on an RBI single from Puscheck to put Canisius up 3-1.
The Lancers scored the final three runs of the game to complete the come-from-behind, walk-off win. Longwood scored one in the fifth and then scored two in the seventh for the win. Kyri Washington hit a leadoff homer in the seventh to tie the game and a two-out double from Colton Konvicka gave Longwood the doubleheader split.
Sophomore Devon Stewart took the loss for the Griffs, allowing four runs on six hits, in 6.2 innings. Aaron Myers went the distance for Longwood, not allowing a hit in the final four innings.
Canisius and Longwood are scheduled to complete the four-game series on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m.