The Canisius baseball team was swept in a doubleheader by Fairfield University at the Demske Sports Complex on Thursday afternoon. The Golden Griffins lost 11-6 and 8-5 to the Stags to fall to 38-15 overall and 14-9 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Game One – Fairfield 11, Canisius 6
Fairfield (20-28, 11-12 MAAC) scored six runs in the first inning on four hits, taking advantage of two Canisius errors. The Stags capped the scoring with an RBI triple from Sal Ciccone. Fairfield then pushed across single runs in the second and third innings before the Griffs got on the board in the bottom of the third. Junior Ronnie Bernick hit a solo homer to right-center, and junior Jimmy Luppens had an RBI double later in the ining to make it 8-2.
The Stags came right back and extended the lead back to eight runs with two more runs in the top of the fourth. Canisius answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, getting an RBI single from Bernick and two-run home run from junior Ryan Coppinger. In the fifth, the Griffs got a leadoff single from Luppens, and sophomore Connor Panas followed with a double to get two runners in scoring position with no outs. Senior Brooklyn Foster lined a ball to deep center, which was caught by Alex Witkus for the first out and shifted the momentum in the inning. Luppens scored to make it 10-6, but the Griffs wouldn’t score again in the game.
Junior Garrett Cortright (10-3) took the loss, allowing 10 runs, six earned, in four innings. Junior Mike Tolsma allowed one run in four innings while redshirt senior Billy Martin threw a scoreless ninth inning.
Game Two — Fairfield 8, Canisius 5
Fairfield jumped out to a quick lead for the second time on the day, stringing together five singles to start the game and build an early 3-0 lead. The Griffs answered right back with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Luppens had an RBI single, junior Jesse Kelso had a sacrifice fly, Gruarin had an RBI double and Foster scored on a passed ball to give the Griffs a 4-3 lead.
Freshman Alex Godzak settled down after the five straight singles to start the game, retiring the next 11 batters he faced. The Stags would take a 7-4 lead in the fifth, scoring four runs on six hits and included an inside-the-park home run from Jake Salpietro. The Stags pushed across another run in the seventh to go up by four, and Canisius scored its only other run on an RBI groundout from Luppens in the seventh.
Godzak (8-3) took the loss, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings. Redshirt freshman Iannick Remillard allowed one run in 2.1 innings of relief and struck out three.
Canisius will wrap up the regular season with the series finale against Fairfield on Friday. First pitch at the Demske Sports Complex is set for noon.
Notes: Fairfield won the series from the Griffs for the second consecutive season and won the series in Buffalo for the first time since 2005… All eight of the MAAC doubleheaders played by Canisius this season were sweeps. The Griffs won five of those eight doubleheaders… The Griffs go 5-3 in MAAC series this season… Coppinger was 4-for-7 on the day with two walks… Luppens had four hits and three RBI… Panas reached base six times with two hits, three walks and a hit by pitch…