The Canisius baseball team broke open a 1-1 game with a six-run seventh inning and got a dominant starting pitching performance in a 10-1 win over Charlotte in the final game of the weekend series.
After five scoreless innings, the Griffs got on the board in the sixth inning. Back-to-back walks to junior Jesse Puscheck and senior Shane Zimmer put two runners on base, and junior Connor Panas came through with the RBI single to put Canisius ahead 1-0. Charlotte (2-2) struck right back with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth.
Canisius (3-3) put together their best offensive inning of the weekend in the top of the seventh, sending 11 batters to the plate, scoring six runs on five hits and using two HBP and a walk to take control of the game. Seniors Jose Torralba and Ronnie Bernick led off with back-to-back singles and advanced into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt from junior Mike Krische. Senior Ryan Coppinger dropped down a bunt single to give the Griffs the 2-1 lead. Puscheck followed with an RBI single, and a sacrifice fly from Zimmer put the Griffs up by three runs.
Panas was hit by a pitch and sophomore Anthony Massicci walked to load the bases. Freshman Christ Conley became the third straight Golden Griffin to reach on a free pass, being hit by a pitch to force home a run. Torralba capped the scoring with a two-out, two-RBI single to give the Griffs the 7-1 advantage. The Griffs scored three unearned runs in the eighth, including RBI singles from Panas and Massicci.
That would be more than enough for junior Devon Stewart. The righty went seven innings, needing 69 pitches, allowed three hits and one run and struck out four to even his record at 1-1. Junior Eric Stolzenburg threw a career-long two innings of scoreless relief.
Panas went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI while also being hit by a pitch. Bernick matched his career high with three hits while Torralba was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Coppinger and Puscheck each scored two runs.
Canisius returns to the field for a three-game series at defending Atlantic Sun champion East Tennessee State. First pitch on Friday in Johnson City, Tenn. is set for 3 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius defeated Charlotte for the first time in six all-time meetings… The Griffs batted around for the second time this season… The six-run seventh inning was the biggest inning of the season for Canisius… Prior to the sixth inning, Canisius was 3-for-24 (.125) in the series with runners in scoring position. The Griffs went 6-for-11 in the final four innings of Sunday’s game… Stolzenburg has pitched at least 1.1 innings in both of appearances this season after only two appearances of that length in his first two seasons… Stewart threw at least seven innings for the 10th time in his career.