The Canisius baseball team completed a four-game sweep of Norfolk State with two wins on Monday, defeating the Spartans 7-5 and 9-1. The Golden Griffins extend their winning streak to eight games, which is also the third-longest road winning streak in the country. The 10-3 start to the season for Canisius is the second best in program history, trailing the 2008 team that started 11-2.
Game 1 — Canisius 7, Norfolk State 5
The Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the second before Canisius got on the board with a two-out RBI single from junior Jesse Puscheck. Norfolk State got that run back in the bottom of the third, but the Griffs made it a 4-3 game in the fourth when sophomore Brett Siddall scored on a wild pitch and senior Ronnie Bernick had a sacrifice fly. The Spartans plated one run in the fourth, but a two-out RBI single from senior Shane Zimmer made it a one-run game again.
Canisius rallied in the seventh, with Puscheck leading off with a single. After moving to second on a wild pitch, Puscheck advanced to third on an error. A four-pitch walk to Zimmer put runners at the corners. After Norfolk State changed pitchers, Siddall jumped on the first pitch he saw. The sophomore sent the ball over the right-field fence for his third homer of the season and put the Griffs ahead 7-5.
Senior Mike Tolsma (2-0) threw three scoreless innings to pick up the win. The lefty allowed four hits and struck out one. Junior Devon Stewart allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits in four innings of work.
Siddall was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. Puscheck went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while freshman Christ Conley and Bernick also had two-hit games.
Game 2 — Canisius 9, Norfolk State 1
The Griffs scored the first eight runs to take control of the final game of the series. Senior Ryan Coppinger led off with a single, moved to second on a walk to Puscheck and scored on an RBI single from Luppens. In the second, Coppinger had an RBI single, freshman Jake Lumley scored on a wild pitch and Luppens had a two-RBI single. The Griffs scored three more in the fifth on a two-RBI single from Conley and an RBI single from Lumley.
Freshman Josh Shepley picked up his first career win by throwing four shutout innings. Shepley allowed five hits, walked none and struck out three. Sophomore Iannick Remillard, junior Eric Stolzenburg and junior Brandon Bielecki each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
Luppens went 4-for-4 with three RBI while Conley and Lumley each recorded three hits. Coppinger and junior Connor Panas each had two hits.
Canisius returns to the field for four games in southwest Ohio next weekend, starting with Friday’s game at Miami University. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
Game Notes: The eight-game road winning streak only trails Norh Carolina State (13 games) and Vanderbilt (12 games)... The Griffs outscored the Spartans 45-12 in the four games and has outscored its opponents 104-49 on the season. Canisius ranks 13th in the country in scoring margin (+4.2)... The last at-bat win in the opener was the first of the year for the Griffs after posting 11 during the 2013 season... Canisius struck out 18 times in the series after striking out 75 times in the first nine games of the season... The Canisius pitching staff issued four walks in 30 innings in the series.