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Canisius baseball falls to Cornell in extras

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

ITHACA, N.Y. -- In a game that saw Canisius send 16 different batters to the plate and 17 pitchers to the mound for both sides (nine for Canisius and eight for Cornell), it was Cornell that prevailed 6-5 in ten innings Wednesday afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y. With the win, Canisius drops to 14-10 on the season, as Cornell improves to 5-11 in 2018.
 
The Big Red took the lead in the bottom of the first inning as junior Will Simoneit singled through the left side, bringing in senior Ellis Bitar to score the game's opening run.
 
The Golden Griffins' answer didn't come until the fourth inning when redshirt senior Liam Wilson raced to third base on a ball in the dirt only to see the throw sail over his head and into left field, allowing him to walk home to tie the contest. The next batter, sophomore Stephen Bennett, singled right back up the middle, permitting seniorRyan Stekl to race home from second, giving the Griffs the 2-1 advantage.
 
A two-run double by junior Josh Arndt in the home half of the sixth, put Cornell ahead, 3-2.
 
Bennett led off the top of the ninth with a walk. After a sacrifice bunt by junior Canice Ejoh advanced Bennett to second, redshirt senior Christ Conley came off the bench to pinch hit. The Derby, N.Y., native, smashed a double down the right line to plate Bennett and tie the game at three-all.
 
In the top of the tenth, Bennett was the one with the big hit as he ripped a two-run double off the left center field fence putting Canisius up for the moment, 5-3.
 
In the bottom of the frame, Cornell got to within one run on a Canisius error to cut the deficit to 5-4. Senior Trey Baur strolled to the plate two batters later with the bases loaded and he looped a ball to right field that landed on the warning track, allowing the game-winning runs to score, giving Cornell the 6-5 walk-off victory.
 
Eight of the nine Canisius pitchers appeared in one inning of work on the bump, with senior Tyler Smith seeing extended action on the hill going two innings out of the bullpen. Redshirt senior Michael Ginther entered in the tenth inning in relief of Smith with two runners on and no outs. The 6-foot-6 southpaw was able to retire the first batter he faced via pop-out, however, he wasn't able to get out of the jam as he was saddled with the loss.
 
For the Big Red, eight pitchers toed the rubber as well. Freshman Nicholas Binnie appeared in his first collegiate game, striking out the only batter he faced in the top of the tenth to earn his first career win.
 
GAME NOTES
• With one hit on Wednesday, Wilson has reached base in all 24 games this season and 26 times in his last 27 games dating back to last year.
• With his three hits on Wednesday, Stekl has now amassed 221 hits in his Canisius career, ranking him seventh all-time in school history, passing Brian Burton ('11).
• Stekl has tallied 306 total bases while in a Canisius uniform moving him ahead of Anthony Massicci ('16) and into sole possession of seventh place in the history of the program.
• Conley's on-base streak now stands at 15 straight games with his pinch hit double on Wednesday.
 
UP NEXT
Canisius returns home to the Demske Sports Complex for a three-game MAAC series versus Saint Peter's Apr. 7-8. First pitch for game one in Buffalo on Saturday is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with game two beginning 30 minutes after the completion of the first contest with Sunday's game set to start at 2:30 p.m.