The Canisius College baseball team ended the regular season on a high note Friday afternoon, as the squad picked up the series win against Niagara with 7-6 walk off win in 13 innings at the Demske Sports Complex. With the win, the Griffs finish the regular season with a 34-20 record and a 16-8 conference mark.
Canisius scored the games' first run in the bottom of the third inning when Liam Wilson (three hits, two runs) doubled to left center scoring Christ Conley (two walks), who walked earlier in the frame. Niagara would storm back the next two innings scoring four runs in the fourth inning and would tack on two more in the fifth to hold the 6-2 advantage entering the bottom half of the seventh inning.
The Blue and Gold would mount their own assault in the seventh inning, triggered by a Stephen Bennett (two hits) single, plating Ryan Stekl (two hits, two walks). The Griffs would tie the score at six when Cyrus Senior (one hit, one walk) would reach first base on a bases loaded fielder's choice and would advance to second when the ball traveled out of the play on the double play attempt bringing Mark McKenna (three walks, one hit) and Wilson around to score.
The score would stay locked at 6-6 until the bottom of the 13th inning when Wilson would triple with one out. Niagara intentionally walked McKenna and Bennett. Senior would chop a pitch over the pitcher's head, beating out the play, to force Wilson in from third as the winning run.
Five pitchers would see action on the hill for the Griffs as Andrew Kneussle got the nod, lasting only 3.1 innings, surrendering four runs (two earned) on three hits. Zach Sloan would enter for the next three innings giving up two runs on six hits while sitting down four Purple Eagles via strike out. After Carson Perkins came on for two outs, Tyler Smith would work the eighth through the 11th innings only allowing one hit, fanning six, in his four innings on the bump. Smith would hand the ball off to Michael Ginther, who picked up his third win, for the last two innings.
With the 13 inning duration, it was the first game of the same inning length for the Griffs since the 2011 season when the team lost to George Washington 3-2 in the second game of a doubleheader on April 10.
Three Griffs seniors were honored pre-game: Jake Lumley, Sloan and Josh Shepley.
Canisius now awaits its final seeding for the upcoming MAAC tournament as they are slated to play the noon contest on Wednesday, May 24 in the first round with its opponent to be determined.
Canisius clinched a postseason berth for the 11th-straight time, the longest such streak in the conference.