The Canisius baseball team scored six runs in the first three innings en route to defeating East Tennessee State 9-2 in Johnson City, Tenn. on Friday afternoon.
Junior Jesse Puscheck went 3-for-5 with two runs scored while senior Jimmy Luppens was 2-for-5 with three RBI. Senior Jose Torralba reached base three times with a single and three RBI while junior Mike Krische added two RBI.
Sophomore Alex Godzak went seven innings to pick up his first win of the season. Godzak allowed one run on five hits and struck out three on 88 pitches. Freshman Josh Shepley closed out the game by allowing one run in two innings.
Three straight one-out hits in the top of the first got the Griffs on the board, with an RBI double from Luppens scoring sophomore Brett Siddall. Junior Connor Panas followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. The Griffs added another run in the second inning as Krische reached with a one-out triple and scored on an RBI groundout from senior Ronnie Bernick.
Canisius (4-3) doubled its lead in the third, with Puscheck reaching on a one-out single and scoring on a home run from Luppens. Panas and Torralba walked with a single from freshman Christ Conley loading the bases. Krische scored Panas with a sacrifice fly to put the Griffs up by six runs.
Canisius added single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Torralba had an RBI single, Puscheck had an RBI single and Torralba scored on an RBI groundout from Krische in the seventh.
The nine runs would be more than enough for Godzak, who didn’t allow the leadoff batter to reach until the seventh inning.
The Griffs and Bucs play the middle game of the series on Saturday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m.
Game Notes: The teams met for the first time in program history… Senior Shane Zimmer hit in the leadoff spot in the order for the first time in his career… Godzak threw at least seven innings for the fifth time in his career… Puscheck extended his hitting streak to five games and has reached base in all seven games… Canisius had a season-low seven strikeouts.