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No. 29 Baseball Looks To Defend MAAC Championship
Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics  
Release: 05/20/2014
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2014 MAAC Championship
No. 29 Canisius (38-14, 20-4 MAAC)
FirstEnergy Park (Lakewood, N.J.)

Live HD Video: MAAC.TV
Free Audio Broadcast: GoGriffs.com

BATTING PRACTICE

  • The Cansius baseball team looks to defend its MAAC Championship this weekend at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.
  • Canisius will be the No. 1 seed in the six-team, double-elimination tournament being held at the home of the Lakewood BlueClaws, the single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies in the South Atlantic League.
  • Canisius won the MAAC regular-season title for the fourth time (1994, 2008, 2010). In 1994, Canisius went 17-1 and won the MAAC North Division title. In 2008 and 2010, Canisius shared the regular-season title.
  • The 20 MAAC wins for the Golden Griffins set a new program record. Since the MAAC went to a 24-game schedule in 2008, Canisius is the second team, joining Manhattan in 2011, to post 20 league wins.
  • Canisius is making its eighth consecutive appearance in the tournament, the longest active streak in the MAAC.
  • In this week’s Collegiate Baseball Top 30 poll, Canisius was voted No. 29. The Griffs were ranked for the first time in program history. Canisius received votes in the 2011 and 2013 preseason polls.
  • The Golden Griffins enter the postseason on a program-record 16-game winning streak, the longest active winning streak in the country. The 16-game winning streak also matches South Carolina and Kennesaw State as the longest winning streak at any point this season.
  • Canisius started the week ranked No. 59 in the official NCAA RPI. In the last five weeks, Canisius has moved from No. 163 to No. 59, jumping 104 spots.
  • Canisius is one of 27 teams across the country with 38 wins.
  • Canisius has won 38 or more games for the fourth time in the last seven seasons. Only two other MAAC schools (Marist in 2002 and LeMoyne in 2006) have ever won 38 games.
  • Junior Rohn Pierce was named the MAAC Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday, the first Golden Griffin to win the award since Shane Davis in 2008.
  • Junior Connor Panas was named the MAAC Player of the Year on Tuesday, the first Golden Griffin to win the award since Sean Jamieson in 2011.
  • Mike McRae was named the Anaconda Sports MAAC Coach of the Year, winning the award for the fourth time (2003, 2008, 2010). 
  • Eight Golden Griffins earned All-MAAC honors on Tuesday, the most for the Golden Griffins since  Pierce, Panas, sophomore Alex Godzak, sophomores Anthony Massicci and Brett Siddall and senior Ronnie Bernick were named to the All-MAAC First Team while junior Jesse Puscheck and freshman Christ Conley were voted to the Second Team.
  • Canisius finished the regular season with 22 road wins, the second-highest total in the country.  The Griffs have 47 road wins during the last two years, one ahead of Bryant for the most in the country
  • Since the start of the 2008 season Canisius has 255 wins, which is the highest total in the Northeast as the Griffs lead Connecticut (248) and St. John’s (248). 
  • During those seven seasons, Canisius ranks 24th nationally in winning percentage (.636) and fifth among schools from non-power conferences. 
  • Canisius is the one of 32 teams in the country, and the only team in the Northeast, to have 33 or more wins in at least six of the last seven seasons.

RANKED FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER

  • Canisius entered the Collegiate Baseball Top 30 poll at No. 29 in this week’s edition of the rankings.
  • Canisius is ranked for the first time in program history.
  • The Golden Griffins received votes in the preseason edition of the Collegiate Baseball poll prior to the start of the 2013 and 2011 seasons

LONGEST WINNING STREAK IN THE COUNTRY

  • The Golden Griffins enter the postseason on a 16-game winning streak, the longest active winning streak in the country.
  • Canisius is the only team in the country to have won at least eight games on four different occassions. South Carolina accomplished the feat three times. 
  • The Griffs also had the longest winning streak in the country last season after posting a 11-game winning streak following a doubleheader sweep of Marist on April 27. 
  • Canisius last lost on Easter Sunday, falling 8-4 to Indiana State.
  • The Griffs are averaging 9.0 runs per game and hitting .330. The Canisius pitchers have a 2.32 ERA with the opposition hitting .220.
  • Since the start of the 2008 season, Canisius has 21 winning streaks of five games or longer.

LOOK BACK AT REGULAR-SEASON SERIES

  • Canisius is the only team in the tournament to play the other five participating schools.
  • Canisius lost two of three games to Siena and Fairfield, losing the series to the Stags to start the month of April and then dropping the series to the Saints on the following weekend
  • The Griffs ended the regular season with a three-game sweep of Monmouth and opened the month of May with a three-game sweep at Quinnipiac.
  • Canisius swept Manhattan at the Demske Sports Complex at the end of March.

RECENT POSTSEASON MEETINGS

  • Canisius and Siena have played three previous times. The Griffs won 12-11 in last season’s championship round while the Saints eliminated the Golden Griffins in 2008 and 2011
  • Canisius and Fairfield met in the first round of the 2012 tournament, with the Golden Griffins winning on a walk-off single from Jose Torralba in the bottom of the ninth inning.
  • Canisius and Manhattan have met seven times. The Jaspers defeated the Griffs twice in extra innings in the 2012 championship round and also won by one run in the 2011 first round. Canisius defeated Manhattan twice in 2010, eliminating the Jaspers in three straight years (2010, 2009 and 2008).
  • With Monmouth and Quinnipiac joining the conference this season, the teams have never met in the postseason.

LOOK BACK AT THE 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP 

  • The Canisius baseball team won the first conference title in postseason history last year by winning all three of its games in Trenton, N.J.
  • The No. 3 seed Golden Griffins opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over No. 2 seed Marist College in the first round.
  • Canisius then defeated No. 1 seed and host school Rider 18-7 in a rain-delayed winners’ bracket game.
  • In the championship game, Canisius jumped out to a 10-3 lead over No. 4 seed Siena after six innings. The Saints tied the game with six runs in the seventh and two runs in the top of the ninth.
  • Canisius won the championship when Jose Torralba was hit by a pitch in the shoulder with two outs and the bases loaded to give the Griffs the walk-off win.

RECENT POSTSEASON SUCCESS

  • Canisius is making its eighth consecutive postseason appearance, dating back to an appearance in the 2007 tournament.
  • The Golden Griffins have played in the championship round in four of the last five years.
  • Canisius has won its first two games in the tournament in each of the past two seasons.
  • Canisius is the No. 1 seed for the second time, also serving as the top seed in 2008.
  • Canisius has won at least one game in each of the last six tournaments.

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