The Canisius baseball team split the two games in its split doubleheader on Monday. The Golden Griffins lost 11-4 at No. 5/8 NC State in Raleigh in the afternoon and then scored 14 straight runs to defeat NC Central 15-7 in Durham in the evening.
Canisius 15, NC Central 7
NC Central took a 5-1 lead after four innings, thanks to a three-run homer and a two-run homer. Canisius didn’t get its first hit until the fifth inning on an RBI triple from senior Ronnie Bernick. An RBI single later in the inning from junior Jesse Puscheck made it a 5-3 game.
The Griffs worked the NC Central pitchers for tough at-bats, overcoming their slow start at the plate by recording seven walks and being hit by six pitches on the day. Canisius took the lead in the sixth by scoring four runs on just one hit and taking advantage of a defensive miscue. The Griffs loaded the bases with no outs but the next two batters failed to bring any runs home. After a dropped fly ball in foul territory, the Griffs got bases loaded walks from sophomore Anthony Massicci and senior Jimmy Luppens to tie the game. Puscheck came through with a two-RBI single to put the Griffs up 7-5.
Canisius (2-1) broke the game open during the next two innings as Coppinger had an RBI triple in the seventh and two-run homer in the eighth. Massicci added another RBI single while Luppens had a two-RBI double in the eighth.
Freshman Josh Shepley allowed three runs on four hits in three innings while striking out five in his first collegiate start. Senior Mike Tolsma (1-0) earned the win after allowing two runs in three innings of relief. Sophomore Iannick Remillard allowed one run in 1.2 innings while junior Eric Stolzenburg retired all four batters he faced, striking out three.
No. 5/8 NC State 11, Canisius 4
Canisius got on the board in the top of the first inning for the second straight game as senior Jesse Kelso reached on a one-out single and stole second base. After two walks loaded the bases, Massicci scored Kelso on a sacrifice fly. The Wolfpack tied the game in the bottom of the first and took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the bottom of the second.
The Griffs cut the deficit in half in the top of the third as junior Mike Krische led off with a single, stole second and eventually scored on an RBI single from Massicci to make it 3-2. NC State would break the game open with five runs in the bottom of the third, chasing Canisius starter Devon Stewart.
Canisius added single runs in the seventh and ninth on an RBI groundout from Puscheck and a sacrifice fly from senior Shane Zimmer.
Stewart (0-1) took the loss for the Griffs, allowing eight runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three in 2.1 innings. Junior Brandon Bielecki threw 4.2 scoreless innings in his Canisius debut while freshman Zachary Trumpler allowed three runs in one inning in his collegiate debut.
Logan Jernigan allowed two runs and walked five in four innings in the start for NC State (1-1). D.J. Thomas (1-0) picked up the win by allowing one run in three innings and striking out six. Brett Austin led the offense by going 4-for-6 with two runs and three RBI.
Canisius returns to the field for a three-game series at Charlotte next weekend. The series starts with a single game on Friday, with first pitch set for 4 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius and NC Central played for the first time in program history… Canisius worked 15 walks on the day and seven HBP after posting one walk and three HBP in the opener… Canisius had three triples in the win over NC Central, matching the program record… The game time of 3 hours, 40 minutes in the nightcap is the longest nine-inning game for the Griffs since May 8, 2010, when Canisius defeated Manhattan 23-20 at the Demske Sports Complex in 3:45.