The Canisius baseball team scored four runs in the top of the ninth for a 7-5 come-from-behind win on Sunday afternoon to complete a weekend sweep at Quinnipiac University. The Golden Griffins have now won a season-high nine straight games and improve to 31-14 overall.
Canisius also improves to 14-4 in MAAC play, taking over first place in the conference standings and also clinching a berth in the MAAC Championship (May 21-25 in Lakewood, N.J). for the eighth consecutive season.
Quinnipiac scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead heading into the ninth inning. The ninth-inning rally started with a four-pitch walk to freshman Christ Conley. Freshman Jake Lumley laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced pinch runner Mike Krische to second base. Krische would steal third base to get 90 feet away with one out in the ninth. Senior Jose Torralba worked a walk, with the fourth ball getting away from the catcher and Krische tying the game on the wild pitch. A walk to pinch hitter Shane Zimmer loaded the bases with one out.
Siddall sent a grounder to the hole on the right side of the infield, with the infield single allowing all runners to be safe and putting the Griffs in the lead. A four-pitch walk to Panas put the Griffs up 6-4 and chased Quinnipiac closer Gary Binkiewicz. Another infield single, this one from sophomore Anthony Massicci, scored another run and put the Griffs up by three.
Sophomore Iannick Remillard picked up the win after allowing the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth. Remillard struck out four batters in 1.2 innings of work. Junior Devon Stewart allowed two runs in a three-inning start. Junior Brandon Bielecki allowed one unearned run in 3.2 innings while junior Eric Stolzenburg allowed one run in 0.2 innings.
After Quinnipiac (15-24, 10-6 MAAC) took the lead in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer, the Griffs answered in the next inning. Sophomore Brett Siddall worked a leadoff walk, and junior Connor Panas hit his second two-run homer of the weekend and tied the game at 2-2.
Panas hit his second homer of the day in the sixth, giving Canisius its first lead of the game at 3-2. The Bobcats had the leadoff batter reach in the seventh, and Mike Palladino laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Nic Civale to second. Civale took a hard turn around second base and got caught in a rundown for the second out of the inning. The Bobcats were able to tie the game on a dropped fly ball by Siddall in the seventh for what would have been the third out of the inning.
Panas went 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored and was 8-for-11 with 10 RBI and three homers in the three-game series. Massicci went 2-for-3 while senior Jesse Kelso was 2-for-4 with a walk.
After final exams, Canisius will play its final road MAAC series of the 2014 season next weekend at rival Niagara University. First pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader is set for 9 a.m.
Notes: Canisius won in its last at-bat for the seventh time in 2014... Stewart’s start of three innings ended a streak of 18 consecutive starts by the Canisius weekend starting pitchers of six innings or more… Panas is the second Golden Griffin to hit a home run in back-to-back games this year, joining Siddall who accomplished the feat in early March… The nine-game winning streak is the longest since a program-record 11-game winning streak last season… Canisius now has 19 road wins on the season and 44 road wins in the last two seasons… Canisius only hit .258 on the weekend but worked 19 walks in the three games. The Griffs drew nine walks on Sunday, matching a season high… Quinnipiac had the leadoff batter reach in 13 of 25 innings but only hit .120 (3-for-25) with runners in scoring position.