The Canisius baseball team was in control for the whole game and defeated rival Niagara University 13-4 in a non-conference game at the Demske Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon. With the win, the Golden Griffins extend their program-record winning streak to 13 games, which is now the longest active streak in the country, and improve to 35-14 on the season.
Eight of the nine Canisius starters recorded a hit in the game with junior Connor Panas going 3-for-5 with four runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore Anthony Massicci was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk while junior Jesse Puscheck was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Seniors Jimmy Luppens and Ryan Coppinger along with freshman Jake Lumley each recorded two hits as well with Coppinger and Lumley adding two RBI apiece.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first, Canisius got on the board with a two-out rally in the second. Lumley reached on a one-out error and then a ground-rule double from Massicci put two runners in scoring position with two outs. Senior Jesse Kelso turned on the 1-1 pitch and it hit off the first-base bag, deflecting into right field. Both runners scored but Kelso was tagged out when he overslid the bag to end the inning.
Canisius scored three more runs in the third as the first four batters reached on hits to chase Niagara starter Anthony Caringi. Sophomore Brett Siddall followed a double from Luppens with a double of his own that bounced off the bottom of the fence to score Luppens. Panas sent a cue shot that got through the left side to put runners at the corners. After Siddall was thrown out at home on a double steal, Puscheck had a ground-rule double to left-center that made it 4-0. Lumley placed a fly ball in shallow left field to score Puscheck but was thrown out trying to extend the single into a double.
Canisius broke the game open with six runs in the fourth, including a bases-loaded walk from Siddall, two-RBI single to left from Panas and a double from Puscheck that ricocheted off the pitcher to score Panas and make it 9-1. A sacrifice fly from Coppinger and RBI single from Lumley put the Griffs up by 10 runs. The Griffs added a run in the sixth when Coppinger beat out an infield single to first, and Panas scored from second base on the play. An RBI triple from Coppinger in the eighth closed out the scoring for the Griffs.
Five Canisius pitchers combined on the win, with freshman Josh Shepley (3-1) throwing five innings and allowing four hits to pick up the victory. Senior Tyler Soucie, freshman Michael Ginther, sophomore Iannick Remillard and junior Eric Stolzenburg each threw an inning of relief.
Canisius wraps up the regular season with a three-game series with red-hot Monmouth University, who brings a 10-game winning streak to Western New York. First pitch for Thursday’s doubleheader is set for noon.
Notes: Canisius has now won 12 straight games against Niagara… Canisius sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth inning and batted around for the 20th time this season… Canisius now has 13 home wins this season, which is the third most in program history and trails the 2010 team (14 wins) and the 1994 team that set the program record with 15 home wins… Luppens went 7-for-15 in the four games against Niagara… Panas has five multi-hit games in the last seven contests… In his last three starts, Shepley is 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA, two walks and eight strikeouts… Siddall extended his hitting streak to eight games… Soucie has not allowed a run in three of his last four appearances.