The Canisius baseball team lost its first home game of the 2014 season in an 8-5 loss to the University of Akron at the Demske Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon. The Golden Griffins fall to 19-11 overall.
Akron (16-14) scored a run in the top of the first to take the early lead. Canisius had its leadoff batter reach in each of the first three innings and eventually tied the game in the bottom of the third. Junior Mike Krische led off with a single, moved to second on a groundout and advanced to third base on a single from junior Connor Panas. With one out and a 1-2 count, Panas broke for first base on first movement and was thrown out at second base. Krische came home on the play and evened the score at 1-1.
The Zips reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs to take a 3-1 lead. Akron would break the game open in the fifth, scoring five runs in the inning on four hits against three Canisius pitchers. Billy Salem had the big hit in the inning with a bases-loaded triple to give the Zips an 8-1 lead.
Canisius mounted a late rally as senior Shane Zimmer scored on a wild pitch in the eighth and sophomore Anthony Massicci had an inside-the-park home run that scored three runs to make it 8-5 in the ninth. The Griffs got the tying run to the on-deck circle but couldn’t finish the comeback.
Six Canisius pitchers threw for the Griffs in the game with freshman Josh Shepley (1-1) taking the loss. Shepley allowed three runs on four hits and struck out three in 3.1 innings. Junior Brandon Bielecki threw 2.1 scoreless innings of relief while senior Tyler Soucie and junior Eric Stolzenburg each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
Krische matched his career high with four hits while Panas, Zimmer, senior Jesse Kelso and sophomore Brett Siddall each had two hits for Canisius, who totaled 14 hits on the day.
Pat Dyer (2-2) picked up the win for Akron by allowing one run on eight hits in seven innings and striking out six.
Canisius continues its eight-game homestand against Siena College this weekend. The three-game series between the top two teams in the early-season MAAC standings starts on Saturday, with first pitch for the doubleheader slated for 3 p.m.
Notes: Akron won both games between the teams this season after Canisius won the previous three games in the series… Canisius had won its last nine home games dating back to last season… Panas extended his hitting streak to 14 games… Junior Jesse Puscheck saw his consecutive games streak of reaching base end at 32 games after coming into the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth and going 0-for-2 on the day… Canisius had double-digit hits for the 20th time in 30 games… Canisius left 10 runners on base and has left double-digit runners on base in nine of its 11 losses.