The Canisius baseball team opened its 2013 MAAC and home schedules with two losses to Saint Peter’s University at the Demske Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Griffins lost 7-5 in the opener and then fell 2-0 in the second game to drop to 14-7 on the season.
Game One – Saint Peter’s 7, Canisius 5
Saint Peter’s took advantage of five Canisius errors in the first game, scoring three unearned runs in the contest. Saint Peter’s scored twice in the top of the second, and the Griffs would respond in the bottom of the inning. Senior catcher Brooklyn Foster and sophomore Connor Panas had back-to-back triples down the right-field line to get the Griffs on the board. Panas would score on a grounder from junior Jose Torralba to tie the score at 2-2.
The Peacocks reclaimed the lead with two runs in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of two wild pitches from starter Garrett Cortright as well as a throwing error. The Peacocks chased Cortright in the fifth and pushed across unearned runs in the fifth and seventh to go up 6-2. The Griffs scored three times in the bottom of the seventh, with junior Ronnie Bernick starting the rally with a one-out walk. Junior Ryan Coppinger tripled to center to score Bernick. Freshman Brett Siddall brought home Coppinger with an RBI groundout and junior Jimmy Luppens made it a one-run game with a homer to center, his fourth homer in the last three games.
Saint Peter’s scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth, and Canisius was never able to tie the game. The Griffs got a baserunner in the eighth and ninth innings but could never get him into scoring position. Canisius was caught stealing to end the eighth and hit into a double play to end the contest.
Cortright (5-1) took his first loss of the season, allowing five runs, three earned, in 4.2 innings while striking out five. Sophomore Rohn Pierce allowed an unearned run on one hit and one walk in 3.1 innings of relief.
Zack Hopf (1-3) earned the win for Saint Peter’s, allowing five runs on five hits, walking three and striking out six in seven innings. Ethan Jackson pitched a scoreless ninth to record his second save of the season.
Game Two – Saint Peter’s 2, Canisius 0
Saint Peter’s scored single runs in the second and fourth innings off Canisius starter Devon Stewart. The Griffs loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, with Bernick drawing a leadoff walk, sophomore Mike Krische singling through the left side and Luppens getting hit by a pitch. Saint Peter’s starter Matthew Yuhas induced a double-play groundball from junior Shane Zimmer to get out of the jam and maintain the 2-0 lead for the Peacocks.
The Griffs managed just three hits in the game, but got the tying runs on base in the bottom of the seventh as Torralba singled to lead off the inning and junior Jesse Kelso was hit by a pitch with two outs. Luppens would ground out to shortstop to end the game.
Matthew Yuhas (3-1) threw seven shutout innings to pick up the win, yielding three hits, walking one and striking out six. Stewart (1-3) took the loss, giving up two runs on six hits, walking one and striking out four.
Canisius and Saint Peter’s will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday, with first pitch at the Demske Sports Complex set for noon.
Game Notes: Canisius loses a series to Saint Peter’s for the first time since 2006. The Griffs had won 15 of the last 17 games between the teams… Canisius loses a home series for the fifth time in the last 24 MAAC series… Luppens extended his hitting streak to 22 games… Canisius had five errors in a game for the second time this season (Feb. 24 at UNC Asheville)… The Griffs were shut out for the first time this season… Sophomore Aaron Casper threw a scoreless ninth inning in the opener and has not allowed a run in his last four appearances… Cortright didn’t get out of the fifth inning for the first time in 18 starts… Stewart’s start of seven inning was his longest of the season… Canisius dropped its home opener for the first time since 2010 and lost its first two MAAC games for the first time since 2009.