The Canisius baseball team lost 3-2 at Rider University in the final game of the weekend series in Lawrenceville, N.Y. The Golden Griffs were swept in a three-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference series for the first time since the 2007 season. Canisius is now 20-10 on the season and 4-5 in the MAAC.
Junior Jesse Kelso went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Sophomore Jesse Puscheck went 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base while freshman Anthony Massicci reached base twice and also had a stolen base.
The Griffs scored the game’s first run in the fourth inning, which started with a leadoff single from Kelso. He moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a groundout from junior Shane Zimmer. A sacrifice fly from senior Brooklyn Foster scored Kelso.
The Broncs scored all three of their runs in the sixth, taking advantage of the only walk of the game from freshman Alex Godzak as well as a misplayed sacrifice bunt. Greg Fazio worked the leadoff walk, and Ken Kremer laid down a sacrifice bunt but reached when Fazio beat the throw at second base. Godzak got a strikeout for the first out of the inning, but a two-RBI double from Mike Parsons gave Rider a 2-1 lead. After Godzak struck out Mike Strano for his eighth strikeout of the day, sophomore Rohn Pierce relieved Godzak and walked Adam Wayman. Jerry Mulderig followed with a single up the middle to put the Broncs up 3-1.
Canisius rallied in the eighth, with junior Jimmy Luppens starting the rally with a leadoff single. Puscheck extended the inning but reaching on a two-out error, and Foster was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Luppens scored on a wild pitch but Mike Murphy struck out pinch hitter Ryan Coppinger to keep Rider up by one. Massicci reached on a two-out single in the ninth, but Zach Mawson got Luppens to fly out to center for the final out of the game and his seventh save of the season.
Godzak (4-2) saw his four-start winning streak come to an end as the freshman allowed three runs on three hits, walked one and struck out eight in 5.2 innings. Pierce, sophomore Eric Stolzenburg and junior Jon Fizsimmons threw 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Kurt Sowa picked up the win, allowing one run on four hits in six innings with Mawson recording his seventh save of the season.
Canisius returns to the field on Wednesday, for a mid-week doubleheader at the University of Akron. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius was swept in a three-game MAAC series for the first time since losing three games at Siena on May 12-13, 2007. That ends a stretch of 41 three-game series without being swept in the MAAC… Canisius went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. The Griffs were 5-for-32 with RISP on the weekend and left 29 runners on base in the series. Rider hit .419 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners on base… Fitzsimmons has 10 strikeouts in his last 4.2 innings pitched… Kelso extended his hitting streak to six games while Massicci is now on a five-game hitting streak… Pierce has not allowed an earned run in his three relief appearances of the season (5.1 innings).