The Canisius College baseball team saw its program-record 11-game winning streak come to an end in an 11-6 loss in extra innings to Marist College at the Demske Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon. The Golden Griffins, who lost for the first time since April 7, fall to 31-11 overall and 9-6 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Sophomore Connor Panas was 3-for-5 with three runs scored while senior Ronnie Bernick went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Junior Jimmy Luppens was 2-for-5 with his fifth homer of the year while junior Shane Zimmer was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and his first homer of 2013.
Marist (21-17-1, 12-6 MAAC) scored the first two runs of the game, using bloop RBI singles from Nick McQuail and Jake Berry to take the early 2-0 lead. Zachary Passerelle followed with an RBI single through the right side to put the Red Foxes up by three. Marist added another run with back-to-back two-out hits in the second, getting a ground-rule double from Steve Laurino and RBI single from Zach Shank.
The Griffs got one back in the bottom of the second with a two-out rally of their own. Panas doubled down the left-field line and an RBI single from sophomore Mike Booth cut the Marist lead to 4-1. Marist answered that run by scoring for the fifth time in the game with two outs, getting an RBI single from Passerelle to go back up by four runs.
A leadoff homer in the fourth from Luppens made it a three-run game. Zimmer drew a walk, and Panas hit a ball off the shortstop’s glove to get two runners on with no outs. A fly out from junior Jose Torralba advanced each runner into scoring position, and Bernick came through with a two-out, two-RBI single to make it a one-run game.
Canisius tied the game in the sixth on a leadoff homer from Zimmer. Panas followed with a double down the left-field line and Torralba beat out a bunt single to put runners at the corners. Pinch hitter Ryan Coppinger scored Panas with an opposite-field single through the left side to give Canisius its first lead of the day, 6-5. Kevin McCarthy (3-2) relieved Marist starter Rich Vrana and got the final three outs of the inning to end the Griffs’ rally.
The Red Foxes answered right back in the top of the seventh, getting a bases-loaded, two-out RBI single from Graham McIntire to tie the game at 6-6. The Red Foxes got the go-ahead run to third with one out in the ninth but sophomore Eric Stolzenburg struck out Pat Welsh and Passerelle to keep the score tied.
Marist threatened again in the top of the 10th with McIntire reaching on an error by Panas and a miscommunication on defense leading to Joey Aiola reaching on a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring position with one out, Laurino pounded a ball over Bernick’s head to score McIntire. Marist scored five runs (four unearned) in the 10th, taking advantage of three Canisius errors.
Sophomore Devon Stewart started for the Griffs and went 6.1 innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits. Stolzenburg (1-1) ended up with the loss, allowing two runs, one earned, in an inning of relief.
Canisius plays two mid-week games in Western New York this week. The Griffs play at St. Bonaventure on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and at Buffalo on Wednesday, also at 3 p.m.
Notes: The 11-game winning streak was the longest by a Division I team in the country… Canisius also saw its eight-game home winning streak come to and end… The Griffs lost in extra innings for the first time in six games this season… Canisius won the series from Marist for the second consecutive season… Luppens now has 14 hits in the last eight games... Panas had seven hits on the weekend... Canisius is now 20-5 in its last 25 home series