The Canisius baseball team broke open an 8-8 tie with an eight-run top of the ninth inning to defeat Ohio University 16-8 on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Griffins improve to 13-5 overall and have won nine of their last 10 games. The win was the 300th in the career of Canisius coach Mike McRae.
Junior Jimmy Luppens was 3-for-5 with three homers and eight RBI, tying a school record with the three homers. Junior Ronnie Bernick had a career-high four hits with three runs scored, and junior Jesse Kelso was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI. Freshman Brett Siddall was 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBI while seniors Brooklyn Foster and Chris Gruarin each reached base three times.
Ohio (3-14) tied the game at 8-8 with a four-run bottom of the eighth. The Griffs came right back in the top of the ninth by sending 13 players to the plate to regain control of the game. Siddall led off with a double and Kelso followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Luppens then hit his third homer of the day to put Canisius up 11-8. Later in the inning, Bernick had a two-RBI single, Siddall had an RBI single and Kelso had a two-RBI double.
Sophomore Eric Stolzenburg picked up his first win of the season by getting the final out of the eighth inning and then all three outs in the ninth. Sophomore Devon Stewart allowed four runs, three earned, in six innings while walking zero and striking out two. Junior Mike Tolsma threw a scoreless seventh inning while senior Jason Rubenstein allowed four runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Luppens hit his first homer of the day in the first inning to put Canisius up 2-0. Each team scored once in the second, with the Griffs getting an RBI single from Siddall. The Bobcats took a 4-3 lead with a three-run bottom of the third, but the Griffs answered with two runs in the top of the fourth. Foster led off with a single and sophomore Connor Panas tripled to center to tie the game. A bunt from freshman Anthony Massicci gave the Griffs the one-run lead.
Canisius pushed its lead to 8-4 in the seventh, which started with a leadoff single from Bernick. After a sacrifice from senior Christian Segar, Siddall flew out to left for the second out of the inning. An intentional walk to Kelso brought Luppens to the plate, and the junior hit his second homer of the day to put the Griffs up by four. Ohio scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth
Canisius and Ohio will conclude the four-game series on Sunday, with game time set for 1 p.m.
Notes: Luppens is the fourth player in program history to hit three homers, most recently by Kevin Mahoney against Siena on April 20, 2008... Luppens' eight RBI were one off the school record of nine RBI set by Sean Jamieson on March 22, 2011... Canisius has scored double-digit runs in six of the last 10 games, averaging 9.4 runs in that stretch. The Griffs averaged 6.1 runs in the first eight games of the season... Stewart has gone at least six innings in each of his last three starts and in 15 of 20 career starts... The two strikeouts for the Canisius offense were the fewest by the Griffs in a nine-inning game since a 6-5 win in an elimination game over Manhattan in the 2010 MAAC Championship.