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Canisius baseball splits Saturday doubleheader

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS



DOUBLEHEADER RECAP

GAME ONE


WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Senior Ryan Stekl led the way with two hits and four RBI as Canisius picked up the game one win over Monmouth, 7-5 Saturday afternoon at MU Baseball Field.
 
The 6-foot-2, 233-pound clean-up hitter came out swinging in the first inning as he rocketed a single back up the middle to bring in redshirt seniors Liam Wilsonand Christ Conley for the game's first two runs, giving the Griffs a 2-0 early advantage.
 
Stekl once again added to the Blue and Gold's lead when he came up with the bases loaded in the third. The Lancaster, N.Y. native, hit into a fielder's choice, however, it allowed junior Mark McKenna to race home for the Golden Griffins third run. Senior Gage Lanning doubled to left center a few batters later, driving in Wilson and Stekl, putting Canisius up 5-0.
 
Monmouth didn't go away quietly as the host Hawks fired back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the third frame on three hits and one Canisius error, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
 
In the top of the fourth, Conley and Stekl each supplied a RBI single to push the Griffs lead back up to 7-3.
 
A Monmouth two-run double in the bottom of the same stanza, cut the Canisius advantage to 7-5, but that was as close as the Hawks got, giving the Golden Griffins the victory.
 
Senior J.P. Stevenson got the starting nod for the Griffs and lasted four innings, conceding five runs on four hits, while retiring five via strikeout. Sophomore Will Frank went three innings of clean baseball as he retired all nine batters he faced earning his third save of 2018.
 
GAME TWO

A seven run seventh inning propelled Monmouth past visiting Canisius, 9-3 in game two Saturday afternoon at MU Baseball Field. The win moves the Hawks to 7-15 on the season and 3-3 in the MAAC, as the Griffs drop to 14-9 and 3-3 as well in the conference.
 
Monmouth was the one that kicked off the scoring as they tallied a run in the second inning and one more in the fourth, both on singles, to lead 2-0 after four full innings.
 
That score held until the top of the sixth when McKenna lead off with a single to right field. Wilson strolled to the plate and, after taking a pitch for a ball, he unloaded on a two-run home run to straight away left field to tie the game at two.
 
The inning continued as Conley flied out to the left field and a Stekl infield single. Lanning followed and nearly missed a home run of his own as he launched a ball off the top of the left field fence and trotted into second base as Stekl came all the way around from first to score the third, and go ahead, run for Canisius.
 
In the seventh, Monmouth broke the game open with seven runs on five hits and one error. With two outs and no runners on, the Hawks recorded three straight singles to load the bases. The home squad then worked back-to-back walks to force in two runs. After a Canisius error allowed two more runs to come in, Monmouth closed out the frame with back-to-back doubles, plating three additional tallies to bring its lead, and victory, to 9-3.
 
Junior Jared Kennedy was saddled with the loss as he allowed three runs in two innings of relief of fellow juniorAndrew Sipowicz, who started game two for the Golden Griffins.
 
Monmouth senior Austin Counsellor picked up his second win of the campaign as he went three innings of two hit baseball out of the bullpen. Freshman Dan Klepchick toed the rubber to begin the game for the Hawks, going six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, while striking out five.
 
GAME NOTES
• With his two hits on Saturday, Wilson has reached base in all 23 games this season and 25 times in his last 26 games dating back to last year.
• With the win in game one, Stevenson now has 22 career victories, moving him past Garrett Cortright ('13) and into a tie for fourth place in program history with Mike Goemans ('10).
• Stevenson has also amassed 245.1 innings on the mound, which is the seventh most in program history, passing Billy Martin ('13). 
• With his two starts on Saturday, Stekl has now started 194 games in his Canisius career, ranking him fourth all-time in school history passing Jose Torralba ('14) and Jake Lumley ('17).
• Stekl also recorded four RBI Saturday, which gives him 144 for his career, moving him ahead of Ian Choy ('10) and into fifth place in program history.
• Stekl has tallied 303 total bases while in a Canisius uniform, tying him with Anthony Massicci ('16) for seventh in the history of the program.
• Conley's on-base streak now stands at 14 straight games with his three hits on Saturday.
• With two hits Saturday, junior Conner Morro's on-base streak has reached 11 straight games. 
 
UP NEXT
Canisius returns home to the Demske Sports Complex for a mid-week non-conference versus Cornell on Apr. 3. First pitch for game one in Buffalo is set for 1 p.m.