The Canisius baseball team swept Sunday's doubleheader at Murray State, winning the opener 6-5 in 10 innings and then taking the second game 11-4, to complete a three-game sweep on the weekend. The Golden Griffins improve to 7-4 on the season.
Junior Jimmy Luppens led the Griffs with four hits on the day, recording four RBI and reaching base six times. Freshmen Brett Siddall and Anthony Massicci each had three-hit days for the Griffs, who had five steals in the doubleheader.
Game One - Canisius 6, Murray State 5 (10 innings)
Murray State took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first before the Griffs answered with two in the top of the second. Junior Shane Zimmer led off with a single and scored on a one-out double from Brooklyn Foster. The senior catcher advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single from Massicci. Murray State took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth after a three-run homer from Brandon Eggenschwiler.
Canisius scored three runs in the top of the seventh, which started with a walk to Massicci. Junior Jose Torralba singled to right and each runner moved up 90 feet after a sacrifice from sophomore Mike Krische. Siddall tied the game with a one-out, two-RBI double and Luppens followed with an RBI single to give the Griffs the 5-4 lead.
Murray State tied the game in the eighth with a one-out RBI single from Eggenschwiler. Canisius would score what proved to be the game-winning run in the 10th as Luppens led off with a single and eventually scored on a two-out, RBI single from Foster.
Junior Jon Fitzsimmons picked up his first victory of the season, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings and striking out four. Sophomore Rohn Pierce allowed four runs in 4.1 innings. Sophomore Aaron Casper threw a scoreless inning of relief while freshman Alex Godzak allowed a run in 2.1 innings.
Game Two - Canisius 11, Murray State 4
Murray State (4-7) scored first for the second time on the day, plating two runs in the bottom of the first. Canisius came back with an RBI groundout from Torralba that scored sophomore Connor Panas, who started the inning with a leadoff double. The Griffs went up in the top of the third, scoring four times. Sophomore Mike Booth and junior Ryan Coppinger led off with back-to-back singles and Siddall followed with the team's third consecutive single to score Booth and tie the game at 2-2. Luppens had an RBI groundout to score Coppinger and give the Griffs a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Zimmer had an RBI single and eventually scored an unearned run later in the inning on a Murray State error.
The Racers got one back in the bottom of the fourth, but the Griffs came right back with a run in the top of the fifth. Panas led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a grounder from Zimmer and scored an unearned run on a passed ball. The Griffs broke the game open in the top of the seventh by scoring five runs. Senior Chris Gruarin started the rally with a one-out single, stole second and moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt. Torralba scored Gruarin with an RBI single and then stole second base. After a walk to Massicci, a grounder from Booth put two runners into scoring position. A walk to Coppinger loaded the bases, and junior Jesse Kelso had a two-out, two-RBI single. Luppens followed with a two-RBI triple to close out the Griffs' scoring.
Sophomore Devon Stewart (1-1) picked up his first win of the season, allowing three runs, one earned, in six innings. Redshirt freshman Iannick Remillard allowed one run in one inning of relief.
Canisius is scheduled to play a four-game series at Longwood University next weekend. First pitch for the single game on Friday is set for 3 p.m.
Notes: After hitting .198 with runners in scoring position in the opening eight games, the Griffs hit .442 with runners in scoring position in this weekend's series... Canisius leadoff batters are reaching base 48.4 percent of the time... Casper has seven strikeouts in his last three innings pitched... Fitzsimmons hasn't allowed an unearned run in seven innings pitched... Foster has eight hits and 10 RBI in his last three starts... Luppens has a hit in all seven of his starts this season... After starting the season 2-for-14, Siddall is 8-for-18 in his last five starts.