The Canisius College baseball team broke open a one-run game with a seven-run fifth inning and defeated the University at Buffalo 14-4 at Audubon Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Golden Griffins, who have bounced back from a four-game losing streak by winning three of their last four games, improve to 20-19 on the season.
Nine Golden Griffins recorded a hit on the afternoon, led by senior Drew Pettit going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Five Canisius players had two-hit days with sophomore Jimmy Luppens going 2-for-4 with four RBI. Junior Manny Hernandez and sophomore Jose Torralba each had two hits and two runs scored while junior Chris Gruarin had two runs scored and three RBI.
Buffalo scored twice in the bottom of the first, before Canisius scored in five straight innings. The Griffs tied the game with a run in the second and third innings, getting an RBI single from sophomore Ryan Coppinger in the second and an RBI single from Luppens in the third. Buffalo reclaimed the lead with two more runs in the third, chasing Canisius starter Aaron Casper.
The Griffs took a lead it wouldn't relinquish with a three-run top of the fourth as Hernandez started the rally with a one-out single. After Torralba followed with a double, Gruarin had a two-RBI triple to knot the score at 4-4. An RBI groundout from sophomore Shane Zimmer gave Canisius the lead
Canisius took command of the game with seven runs in the top of fifth inning, sending 12 batters to the plate. Walks to Luppens and junior Brooklyn Foster sandwiched around a single from freshman Mike Krische loaded the bases. After Coppinger struck out for the first out of the inning, Hernandez singled to center, scoring Luppens. Torralba then struck out and Canisius would score six two-out runs, taking advantage of a Buffalo error on a grounder from Gruarin that scored Krische. Bases-loaded walks to Zimmer and Pettit forced home two runs. Luppens followed with a bases-clearing double to put Canisius up by eight as the Griffs scored six unearned runs in the inning. Canisius added two more runs in the sixth on an RBI groundout from Gruarin and RBI single from Pettit.
The Canisius bullpen allowed one runner past first base in the final six innings as four Golden Griffin pitchers combined to shut out the Bulls after the third inning. Freshman Rohn Pierce (2-3) threw four shutout innings of relief, allowing five hits, walking zero and striking out three to pick up the win. The trio of redshirt junior Nathan Linseman, senior Alex Tufts and sophomore Jon Fitzsimmons didn't allow a hit or a walk in the final two innings.
Canisius (7-2 in the MAAC) returns to the Demske Sports Complex to face Manhattan College (8-4 in the MAAC) this weekend. The three-game series between the first and second-place teams in the MAAC is scheduled to start with a doubleheader on Saturday, with first pitch set for noon.
Notes: Canisius takes three of four games from Buffalo in 2012 and has now won nine of the last 12 meetings between the teams... Coppinger had his third consecutive multi-hit game and has at least one RBI and one run scored in five straight games... Hernandez has six multi-hit games in his last 14 starts... Krische is 14-for-46 (.304) since March 23... Linseman has allowed one earned run in his last five appearances (4.1 innings)... Luppens was 9-for-15 with six runs scored and eight RBI against Buffalo this season... Pettit is hitting .415 with 10 RBI in 11 games in the month of April... Pierce hasn't allowed a run in his last four appearances (8.2 innings)... Zimmer has reached base in 44 of the last 45 games.