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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Canisius baseball escapes Quinnipiac with 3-2 victory

All WNY News     Sunday, April 30, 2017    

STAFF REPORTS
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Despite loading the bases with two outs in the ninth inning on Sunday, closer Tyler Smith did his job and shut the door on a Quinnipiac comeback bid, as Canisius baseball bested the Bobcats, 3-2. The Canisius hurler, who had been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year watch list, earned his eighth save of the year, as Canisius improved to 26-17 overall and 9-6 in the MAAC. Quinnipiac dropped to 15-26 and 8-10 in conference action.

Offense was at a premium in the rubber match between the two squads, as both teams tallied runs in the first inning, before Quinnipiac took its first lead of game, scoring on a wild pitch, to make it 2-1.

Canisius bounced back in the top of the seventh, as Jake Lumley hit a solo home run to tie the game, before the Griffs' power hitter Ryan Stekl followed suit in the eighth to take the lead.

Smith came on in the eighth to help secure the victory, working a near flawless first frame before running into trouble in the final inning, but eventually closing the door.

The junior closer recorded the first out as Joseph Burns flied out to right field. However the next batter Ben Gibson worked a walk, followed by a Brian Moskey single, to put two runners aboard. A dropped third strike allowed the runners to move along to third and second, with two outs, before another walk to Anthony Cruz, ratcheted up the intensity of the inning.

With the leadoff man due up, Smith induced a groundout to second base to end the comeback bid and the game, preserving the 3-2 lead.

Lumley and Stekl were the leaders on offense in a game that saw limited hitting, as the duo both posted a pair of hits each. The pair also posted an RBI apiece, as well. Christ Conley continued his strong weekend, recording an RBI after launching a sacrifice fly in the game's first half inning.

Andrew Sipowicz got the start for Canisius as he worked six frames and limited the Bobcats to four hits and two earned runs in the no-decision. The sophomore hurler also recorded three strikeouts.

Zachary Sloan came on in relief and worked a frame, holding Quinnipiac hitless and scoreless to go along with a pair of strikeouts.

Smith worked the final two innings and allowed one hit and an uncharacteristic three walks, but fanned three as he notched his league-leading eighth save.

Canisius returns home during the week to take on Kent State in a mid-week clash on Tuesday, before heading to Iona next weekend for another MAAC series. The two teams lock up for a doubleheader on Saturday, followed by a single game Sunday. Both days begin at noon. The series against the Gaels will be the final road series of the season for the Griffs, as the team will play the rest of the month of May at home.

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