The Canisius College baseball team scored five runs in the ninth inning but couldn't complete the comeback as the Golden Griffins lost 7-5 at No. 23 Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. Canisius is now 7-7 on the season.
Kentucky (15-0) held Canisius to four hits through the first eight innings. The Wildcats scored in four consecutive innings, getting one in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth inning off Canisius starter Garrett Cortright (2-2). The sophomore went six innings, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits. Senior Alex Tufts threw two scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and striking out two.
Sophomore Ronnie Bernick started the ninth-inning rally with a leadoff single and moved to second on a one-out single from senior Chris Gruarin. After sophomore Shane Zimmer reached on an error to score Bernick, sophomore Jimmy Luppens followed with an RBI double to score Gruarin and make it 7-2.
Junior Brooklyn Foster was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Trevor Gott struck out freshman Connor Panas for the second out of the inning. Junior Manny Hernandez used an infield single - his third hit of the day - to score pinch runner Sam Cumbo and junior Christian Segar had a two-RBI single to score Foster and pinch runner Ryan Coppinger to make it 7-5. With runners at the corners, Gott then struck out Bernick to end the game.
Jerad Grundy (3-0) threw 7.1 scoreless innings and struck out seven to earn the win.
Canisius and Kentucky conclude the three-game series on Sunday, with game time set for 1 p.m.
Notes: Canisius batted around for the fifth time this season, sending 10 hitters to the plate in the top of the ninth... Bernick extended his hitting streak to a team-high eight games... Zimmer extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 21 games... Hernandez had three hits in four at-bats after coming into the game with two hits in his previous 11 at-bats... Tufts hasn't allowed a run in his last 5.2 innings pitched... Luppens has nine hits in the last three games and has at least two hits in each of those three games.