CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS
The Canisius baseball program took two more steps towards the upcoming MAAC Tournament, as the squad split an afternoon doubleheader versus Niagara. The Blue and Gold dropped game one 4-3 before earning the split via a 5-3 victory in the second contest. Canisius' record now sits at 33-20 overall and 15-8 in the MAAC; whereas Niagara is staying afloat one game above .500 at 24-23 overall and 12-11 in conference.
J.P. Stevenson got the ball and settled in after an early hiccup to begin the game, as he worked five innings, surrendering four hits on four runs (three in the first inning), fanning five, however, he fell to 9-4 on the season.
Will Frank came on in relief and worked 3.1 innings, yielding three hits, while Michael Ginther came on for the last two outs to finish out the game, allowing one hit and striking out one.
After getting started in the fourth inning, the Griffs bats recorded seven hits by seven different players. The big inning came for the Blue and Gold as Gage Lanning drove home fellow outfielder Cyrus Senior, who had singled earlier in the frame, from third base on a sacrifice fly. The run was added to two batters later when Conley was hit by a pitch for the 19th this season, plating Joe Preziuso (one hit, one run) from third.
Canisius would tack on its third, and final, run in the bottom of the eighth on a triple by Stephen Bennett, scoring Mark McKenna.
The Blue and Gold scored four of their five runs in the bottom of the third inning and never looked back as Andrew Sipowicz shut the Purple Eagles down for 6.1 innings, scattering six hits and allowing two runs, one earned, in route to his fifth win. Nolan Hunt would come on for the two out save in the seventh inning, his second of the campaign, as the Griffs would win, 5-2.
The Griffs offense was powered by Conley who went 2-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored, including a double in the aforementioned third inning which brought Ryan Stekl (two hits, one RBI) and Jake Lumley (two walks, one run scored) around to score.
With the loss in game one, Canisius saw its 17-game winning streak versus Niagara snapped; the Blue and Gold's first loss to the Purple Eagles since the 2011 season.
The Griffs will look to start a new streak tomorrow afternoon, when the squad concludes the regular season with a single game against Niagara at the Demske Sports Complex on Senior Day. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Three seniors will be recognized tomorrow: Lumley, Josh Shepley and Zach Sloan.