The Canisius College baseball team defeated Saint Peter's College 6-1 on a cold evening at the Demske Sports Complex on Sunday night. The Golden Griffins clinch the series victory and improve to 16-18 overall and 6-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Canisius took the early 1-0 lead as sophomore Chris Gruarin reached on a ground-rule double to right with one out in the bottom of the first. Gruarin would move up to third on an errant pickoff throw and score on a sacrifice fly from senior Brian Burton.
With runners on second and third, Saint Peter's (10-20, 2-6 MAAC) appeared to take the lead in the top of the third on a double down the third-base line that would have scored two runs. However, Canisius appealed that the second runner didn't touch third base and the umpire called the runner out as the Peacocks only scored one run on the play, tying the game at 1-1.
Canisius came right back in the bottom of the inning as senior Sean Jamieson led off with a single through the left side. With Jamieson running, Burton singled through the same hole on the left side to put runners at the corners with no outs. A walk to junior Drew Pettit loaded the bases and then a one-out walk to senior Andrew Russo forced home a run. Sophomore Kevin Whitehead followed with a sacrifice fly to score Burton and put Canisius ahead 3-1.
The Griffs doubled their lead in the fourth as freshman Jose Torralba led off with a single. After Jamieson was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second, Burton hit a double to straight-away center that bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double and scored Torralba. With the Saint Peter's infield drawn in, Pettit hit a grounder to second, but Jamieson was running on contact and scored without a throw to give Canisius a 5-1 lead. The Griffs made it 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a solo homer to right from freshman Ryan Coppinger, the first homer of Coppinger's career.
Redshirt senior Shane Davis went the distance, allowing one run on four hits, walking zero, striking out six and needing only 88 pitches to improve to 3-3 on the season. Davis retired the final 11 batters he faced.
Canisius and Saint Peter's will complete the three-game series on Monday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m.
Notes: The game featured an 89-minute delay after the first two outs in the top of the first inning. A lake-effect snow band set up over downtown Buffalo... Canisius has won 10 of its last 14 games... Canisius has now won 14 of the last 15 against Saint Peter's... Burton extended his consecutive games streak of reaching base to 33 games... Jamieson and Burton extended their hitting streaks to six games, the longest active streaks on the team... Canisius is now 21-4 in its last 25 home MAAC games.... Canisius has now won 22 of its last 27 MAAC series... Davis is now 20-3 in his career in 27 MAAC starts. The Belmont, Ontario native had his 18th career complete game and allowed two or fewer walks for the 20th time in his last 22 starts.