Breaking the game open with a seven-run ninth inning and having six pitchers allow one run in six innings of relief, the Canisius baseball team defeated Cornell University 14-5 at Hoy Field on Thursday afternoon. The Golden Griffins improve to 20-7 overall and extend their winning streak to a season-high six games.
Senior Jimmy Luppens and freshman Anthony Massicci each went 3-for-5 as five Golden Griffins to record multi-hit games. Massicci added three runs scored and two RBI as fellow freshman Brett Siddall was 2-for-6 with two runs scored, three RBI and his second homer of the season. Junior Jesse Kelso was 2-for-3 with two runs scored while senior Chris Gruarin was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases.
Seven Golden Griffins pitched in the game, with redshirt senior Billy Martin starting and allowing four runs in three innings. Six Canisius relievers allowed just one run on two hits in six innings. Junior Mike Tolsma (1-0) threw a scoreless inning to pick up his first win at Canisius.
Each team scored three runs in the second inning, which started with walks to Gruarin and sophomore Connor Panas. Massicci had an RBI single, junior Ronnie Bernick followed with an RBI double and senior Christian Segar brought home a run with a bunt to put Canisius up 3-0. Cornell evened the score in the bottom of the inning before Canisius re-took the lead in the fourth. Massicci led off with a single and came all the way around to score on three wild pitches.
Cornell (15-8) again tied the score in the fourth before Canisius took the lead for good in the top of the fifth. Kelso started the rally with a one-out double and scored on a two-out, RBI single from Panas to put Canisius up 5-4. The Griffs added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings, getting a sacrifice fly from Kelso and a pinch-hit RBI single from junior Shane Zimmer to put Canisius up 7-4. The Big Red scored its only run off the Canisius bullpen in the bottom of the eighth to make it a two-run game, but the Griffs removed all doubt with a seven-run top of the ninth.
Three straight singles from Luppens, Kelso and Gruarin started the inning, with Gruarin’s single scoring Luppens. A sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Ryan Coppinger scored Kelso while an RBI single from Massicci scored Gruarin to make it 10-5. After an infield single from junior Jose Torralba loaded the bases, a Cornell throwing error allowed sophomore Mike Krische to score. Siddall then put the game away with a two-out, three-run homer to right to put Canisius up by nine.
Canisius returns to the field for a three-game series at Rider University this weekend. First pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader is set for noon.
Game Notes: Canisius is now one of 40 schools in the country with 20 wins, matching Pittsburgh for the most wins by a team in the Northeast… The nine-game road winning streak is the second-longest active streak in the country, trailing North Carolina’s streak of 13 games… The six-game winning streak is the longest by a MAAC school this season… Canisius has had a six-game winning streak in each of the last six seasons and has eight winning streaks in the stretch of at least six games… Canisius has scored four or more runs in an inning 11 times this season and batted around for the eighth time in 2013… Gruarin had two hits for the third time in four starts… Massicci has eight hits in his last three starts… Siddall is 6-for-13 in his last four appearances… Tolsma hasn’t allowed a run in his last three appearances... In the last nine games, the Canisius bullpen has a 1.14 ERA (23.2 innings).