The Canisius baseball team swept the University at Buffalo in a doubleheader at the Demske Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon. The Golden Griffins won 7-5 and 2-1 to extend their home winning streak to five games and improve to 24-10 on the season.
Game One – Canisius 7, Buffalo 5
Canisius scored three times in the bottom of the second, doing all of the damage with two outs and forcing Buffalo starter Cory Folk into a 30-pitch inning. Sophomore Mike Booth started the rally with a seeing-eye single through the left side, and sophomore Jesse Puscheck battled back from down 1-2 to work a walk. Junior Jose Torralba followed with a double just inside the third-base bag to score Booth. Freshman Anthony Massicci then singled to left, scoring Puscheck and Massicci. The Griffs added another run in the fourth after a single through the left side from Booth that was bobbled by the outfielder and allowed junior Jimmy Luppens to score to put Canisius up 4-0.
Buffalo had its best scoring opportunity in the fourth against starter Iannick Remillard when the Bulls got runners to the corners with one out. Junior Jesse Kelso made a diving catch in left center on a fly ball from Kyle Figgins for the second out of the inning. The sacrifice fly allowed the runner on third to score but prevented the big inning as Remillard got Jon Mestas to fly out to right on the next pitch to end the inning.
Canisius had the first two batters reach in the fifth, with sophomore Mike Krische drawing a leadoff walk and Kelso following with a perfectly executed hit and run. With Krische running on the pitch, Kelso hit a ball at the area vacated by the shortstop to cover the bag and allowed the Griffs to get runners at the corners with no outs. After Kelso stole second, Luppens hit a grounder to third, which went off the fielder’s glove and down the left-field line to allow both runners to score. Canisius extended its lead to 7-1 on an RBI single from Booth.
Canisius would need all of those runs as Buffalo rallied in the seventh, scoring four runs and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs. A single from Figgins made it 7-5 before junior Jon Fitzsimmons struck out Mestas for the final out of the game and his fifth save of the season.
Remillard went 4.2 innings in his first career start, allowing one run on one hit, walking two and striking out one to pick up his second victory of the season.
Game Two – Canisius 2, Buffalo 1
Buffalo (18-16) scored the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, starting with a single up the middle from Ryan Tulloch. After a sacrifice bunt, a walk to Thomas Richards put two runners on base. River McWilliams singled through the right side, and Tulloch beat the throw home to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead. A diving catch in right center from Krsiche ended the inning and prevented the Bulls from adding two more runs.
Canisius got its first hit of the game in the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff double to right center from senior Brooklyn Foster. After a sacrifice bunt from Kelso advanced Foster to third and a fielding error put Luppens at first, pinch hitter Christian Segar came through with an RBI single through the left side to tie the game.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Krische laced a ball down the right-field line and went into third with a stand-up triple. Krische would score on the next pitch, a passed ball to the backstop. The ball bounced halfway back to the plate but the sophomore beat the throw for the walk-off win.
Junior Tyler Soucie (1-0) picked up his first win as a Golden Griffin by throwing a scoreless seventh inning. Junior Mike Tolsma started and threw two scoreless innings while senior Jason Rubenstein threw three scoreless innings of relief.
Canisius returns to the road for a three-game series at Manhattan College this weekend. First pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader is set for noon.
Notes: The five-game home winning streak is the longest since a 10-game stretch spanning the end of the 2010 season and beginning of 2011 season… Canisius won for the sixth time this season in its last at-bat… Canisius has won 12 of the last 15 meetings with Buffalo… Canisius improves to 14-2 in its last 16 non-conference home games… Krische batted in the No. 2 spot in the first game, his first appearance out of the leadoff spot in 21 starts this season… Canisius sent nine players to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, batting around for the 10th time this season… The walk-off win for the Griffs was their first at the Demske Sports Complex since a 5-4 win on March 30, 2011, against Buffalo on a 10th-inning homer from Sean Jamieson… Canisius now has 17 triples as a team, one away from the program record of 18... Seven of the Griffs' 15 hits on the day came with two strikes