The Canisius baseball team plated three runs in the top of the 12th inning, to record an opening-day victory over the Gardner-Webb Running Bulldogs on Friday afternoon in Boiling Springs, N.C. An error in the top of the 12th led to the go-ahead runs, as the Griffs improved to 1-0 on the year while Gardner-Webb fell 0-1.
At the beginning of the deciding frame, Tim Kensinger singled through the right side with one out in the inning to get the carosel moving. Following a wild pitch, which advanced Kensinger to second, Joseph Preziuso walked to put a pair on.
Jake Lumley singled to left field to load the bases and bring up Ryan Stekl. An error by Gardner-Webb allowed two runners to come around and score as Kensinger broke the tie, and Preziuso gave Canisius an insurance marker. Lumley ended up on third while Stekl stopped at second on the miscue.
Tyler Smith earned the win in the contest, throwing 2.1 innings, allowing two hits and one earned run and fanning four. Smith came in earlier in the game to close out the matchup at 7-7, however gave up a solo homerun to his first batter, but rebounded to record the win.
The top of the order proved to do most of the damage for the Blue and Gold with Lumley and Stekl combining for seven hits in the game. Lumley rapped out four hits and one RBI, while Stekl finished the game with three hits and two RBI.
Christ Conley also proved to be a force in the lineup, recording one hit and knocking in two for the Blue and Gold.
Zachary Sloan got the start for Canisius and worked 4.1 innings and allowed nine hits and four earned runs in the no-decision. Andrew Sipowicz came on in relief and had one hiccup in an otherwise impressive outing, allowing just two hits and two earned runs, and fanning nine in 5.1 innings of work.
The Griffs were down to their final three outs in the top of the ninth, before Conley drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, to tie things up 6-6.
An error led to the go-ahead run in the 11th, to make it 7-6 but a solo-shot by the Runnin Bulldogs tied things up again.
The 12th inning proved to be the decisive frame for the Blue and Gold.
Canisius will be back at it tomorrow, when the squad takes on Gardner-Webb in a double-header in Boiling Springs, N.C. Game times are set for 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. The series wraps up on Sunday when the squads face again at 1 p.m.