The Canisius baseball team rallied from a six-run deficit and defeated Youngstown State 7-6 in walk-off fashion at the Demske Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon. The Golden Griffins have won three straight and five out of six to improve to 25-14 on the season.
A trio of Canisius relievers allowed the Griffs to complete the comeback. Senior Mike Tolsma kept Canisius in the game by throwing five scoreless innings of relief, and retiring 15 of the 16 batters he faced. The lefty only allowed a bloop single with one out in the sixth and struck out a career-high four batters. Senior Tyler Soucie threw a scoreless eighth inning that included two strikeouts while sophomore Iannick Remillard picked up his first win of the season by throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
The Griffs trailed 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth, which started with sophomore Brett Siddall being hit by a pitch. Senior Jose Torralba placed a perfect bunt up the third-base line. Torralba beat the throw, which went over the first baseman’s head and was backed up by the second baseman. Pinch runner Mike Krische attempted to advanced from second to third on the overthrow. The Youngstown State second baseman threw across the diamond in an attempt to get Krische at third base. That throw got away from the third baseman and went out of play, allowing Krische to score and Torralba to go all the way to third base.
After pinch hitter Connor Panas worked a walk, freshman Christ Conley sent the first pitch to left-center field. Torralba scored easily on the sacrifice fly for the Griffs’ sixth win this season in their last at-bat.
Conley, Torralba and Siddall each had two hits on the day along with sophomore Anthony Massicci, who also worked two walks out of the leadoff spot in the order. Siddall also reached base four times with an HBP and walk to go along with two RBI.
Youngstown State (8-25) used a solo homer in the second and scored five more runs in the third to take the early 6-0 lead and chase freshman Zachary Trumpler. The Griffs got on the board in the fourth as senior Jimmy Luppens beat out an infield single to short and the errant throw allowed Luppens to advance to second. Siddall followed with another infield single, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Canisius could only score one run with two runners in scoring position and no outs, getting a sacrifice fly from senior Ryan Coppinger to make it 6-1.
Canisius continued to apply pressure in the fifth with a leadoff double from Massicci, followed by HBP to seniors Jesse Kelso and Luppens to load the bases with one out. Siddall sent a flare that dropped in front of the centerfielder to score two runs and cut the deficit to 6-3. Luppens tried to take an extra base on a ball in the dirt, but was thrown out at third. Siddall tried to advance to second on the play and also was thrown out at second to end the inning.
The Griffs continued to chip away in the sixth, which started with a one-out bunt single from Coppinger. Conley followed with a single up the middle and then senior Ronnie Bernick laced a single to right-center field to score Coppinger. Massicci turned on a 3-1 pitch and shot it through the hole on the right side to score Conley and make it a one-run game.
Siddall worked a one-out walk in the seventh and Torralba sent a chopper up the middle for a single to get two runners on base. After a wild pitch put the runners in scoring position, Youngstown State reliever Alex Frey struck out Coppinger and got Conley to ground out to end the threat and keep the score 6-5. The Griffs got two more runners on base in the eighth, but Luppens grounded out to shortstop to end that threat as Canisius left 12 runners on base in the game.
Canisius will play its next three conference series away from home, starting with this weekend’s three-game series at Marist College. First pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader in Poughkeepsie is set for noon.
Notes: The Griffs had a walk-off win at the Demske for the 14th time since the 2007 season… Canisius has now won its last three one-run games and is 7-4 in one-run contests this season… The five-inning outing for Tolsma was the longest of his Canisius career… Canisius had 12 hits in the game and now has double-digit hits in 26 of 39 games… The Griffs have not hit a home run in six consecutive games, the longest drought of the season… In the last seven games, the Canisius bullpen has a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings… Canisius rallied from a deficit of four or more runs for the fourth time this season.