The Canisius College baseball team swept a doubleheader at Siena College on Saturday afternoon, cruising to a 17-1 victory in game one and then pulling out a 1-0 victory in game two at Siena Field. The Golden Griffins improve to 34-12 overall and 11-6 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, having won 14 of their last 16 games.
Game One – Canisius 17, Siena 1
Seven Golden Griffins recorded multi-hit days with 12 players driving in at least one run as Canisius scored a season-high 17 runs without hitting a homer. The Griffs scored twice in the second, when junior Ronnie Bernick was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and sophomore Jesse Puscheck had a two-out, RBI single. A two-out, RBI single from junior Jimmy Luppens gave Canisius a 3-0 lead after four innings.
The Griffs broke the game open with six runs in the fifth, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring the six runs with only three hits as Canisius worked three walks and was hit by two pitches. Kelso had the big hit in the inning, a two-out, two-RBI single to put the Griffs up 9-0. Canisius scored four runs in the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth, junior Jose Torralba had a two-RBI double, senior Chris Gruarin had an RBI double and junior Ryan Coppinger had an RBI groundout. In the ninth, sophomore Mike Booth had an RBI single, sophomore Connor Panas and freshman Brett Siddall each had an RBI groundout and freshman Anthony Massicci.
Junior Garrett Cortright (9-2) went eight innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking three and striking out eight. Cortright won for the third consecutive start and has gone at least eight innings in five straight MAAC starts. Senior Scott Whitehead threw a scoreless ninth inning.
Gruarin matched a career high with four runs scored while Kelso and Panas each tied a career high with three runs scored apiece. Senior Brooklyn Foster and Kelso each led the Griffs with three hits.
Game Two — Canisius 1, Siena 0
Both teams received strong pitching performances in the second game of the doubleheader. Siena (20-26, 10-7 MAAC) had at least one runner into scoring position in six of the seven innings. Freshman Alex Godzak was able to get out of the jam each time. In the second, Siena had runners at first and second with no outs, but a strikeout and a double play ended that threat. Two walks put two Saints on base in the fifth, but Godzak again ended the inning with a strikeout. A leadoff single in the sixth also didn’t come back to hurt the lefty as Godzak got two fly outs to keep it a scoreless game.
Canisius loaded the bases with one out in the second, but Siena starter Justin Brantley struck out Gruarin and Bernick to end the Griffs’ threat. Foster was hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth and stole second with two outs, but Brantley got a fly out to end that inning.
The Griffs scored the game’s only run in the seventh, mounting a two-out rally. Puscheck had a two-out, pinch-hit single and was replaced by pinch runner Mike Krische. The sophomore moved up to second on a wild pitch and scored on the game-winning, RBI single from Bernick.
Godzak (7-2) allowed four hits and walked two while striking out five in six innings. Junior Jon Fitzsimmons pitched around a one-out single in the seventh and struck out the side to pick up his eighth save of the season.
Canisius and Siena will conclude the three-game series on Sunday, with first pitch set for noon.
Notes: Canisius has now won 33 or more games in five of the last six seasons – the only team in the Northeast region to claim that distinction… Canisius now has 24 road wins on the season, continuing to lead the country in the category… Canisius won a series at Siena for the second time (2009) in the last 15 years… Canisius improves to 34-12 in MAAC series during the past six seasons… All six of the Golden Griffins MAAC doubleheaders have been sweeps this season (four won by Canisius, two won by the opponent)… Canisius won for the ninth time this season in its last at-bat… The Griffs batted around for the 17th time this season and for the seventh time in the last 14 games… Siena out-hit Canisius 5-4 in the second game and the Griffs won for the fourth time this season when being outhit by their opponent… The Griffs won a game 1-0 for the first time since a 1-0 win over Fairfield on May 16, 2011.