The Canisius College baseball team opened the 2013 season with a doubleheader sweep of the University at Albany in two neutral-site games at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C. on Friday. The Golden Griffins won 8-2 and 12-4 to open the season with two wins in the first two games for the fourth time in the last six seasons.
Canisius 8, Albany 2
Canisius took advantage of eight walks and used seven stolen bases to go along with seven strong innings from junior Garrett Cortright to open 2013 with a win. Canisius got on the board with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third, as junior Ronnie Bernick turned the lineup over with a single. After a walk to sophomore Mike Krische, junior Ryan Coppinger and sophomore Connor Panas had two-out RBI singles to get the Griffs on the board.
The Griffs added a run in the fourth as freshman Brett Siddall led off with a double and eventually scored on an RBI groundout from junior Jesse Kelso. The Griffs pushed another run across when Krische led off the fifth with a walk, stole second, stole third and scored on a throwing error by the Albany catcher. An RBI groundout from Krische in the sixth scored Kelso, junior Jose Torralba had an RBI double in the seventh and senior Brooklyn Foster had an RBI single in the eighth as Canisius scored in each of the last six innings in the game.
Cortright (1-0) didn't allow a runner past first base until the sixth inning, striking out the first four batters of the game. The junior went seven innings on the day, yielding three hits, allowing two runs, one earned, walking one and striking out eight. The leadoff batter reached base only in the sixth inning on the only Canisius error in the game. Sophomore Eric Stolzenburg and senior Jason Rubenstein each threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Griffs.
Canisius 12, Albany 4
In the nightcap, the Griffs jumped out to a big lead as they scored nine runs in the first four innings and sophomore Rohn Pierce took advantage by retiring the first 13 batters he faced as Canisius cruised to the victory in game two.
Krische led off the game with a single and scored on a double from Kelso. After he stole third, Kelso scored on a wild pitch later in the inning. The Griffs added two more runs in the third as Panas led off with a walk and junior Jimmy Luppens reached on an error. After a sacrifice from senior Chris Gruarin, Panas scored on an RBI groundout from Torralba and Luppens would score on a wild pitch to put the Griffs up 4-0.
Cansius broke the game open in the fourth by scoring five runs, all with two outs. Krische started the inning by being hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Kelso, who advanced to second on the throw home. Panas followed with an RBI single and Luppens was hit by a pitch to set the table for Gruarin. The senior put Canisius up 9-0 with a three-run homer.
Pierce retired the first 13 batters of the game, allowing only three balls to reach the outfield. Albany scored once in the fifth and scored two runs in the sixth off the sophomore. The Newfane, N.Y. native allowed five hits, three runs (two earned), and walked one while striking out six to pick up the win. Redshirt freshman Iannick Remillard and junior Mike Tolsma each made their Canisius debut. Remillard allowed one run in two innings while Tolsma pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Canisius is scheduled to return to the field on Sunday, against Monmouth. Game time is set for 1 p.m. Check GoGriffs.com and Twitter.com/GoGriffs for the latest schedule updates.
Notes: Gruarin had three hits in his opening game of the season after posting four hits in the season opener last season... Canisius now holds a 7-6 lead in the all-time series with Albany... The seven steals for Canisius in game one are more than the Griffs had in any game during the 2012 season and the most for the Griffs since they had seven against Rider on April 25... Canisius worked 12 walks and had four HBP while the Griffs' pitchers allowed only three walks... The Griffs had 13 strikeouts in the opener but came back with only five strikeouts in the nightcap.