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Canisius baseball splits Saturday doubleheader with Rider


LAWERENCEVILLE, N.J. -- Canisius senior left-handerJ.P. Stevenson went seven innings on the hill as a late rally propels the Golden Griffins past Rider 7-3 in game one Saturday afternoon at Sonny Pittaro Field in Lawrenceville, N.J.
Senior Gage Lanning got the action kicked-off for Canisius in the top of the first as he lifted a sacrifice fly to left field and senior Liam Wilson to trotted home for the 1-0 lead.
The Broncs answered back in the home half of the second as sophomore Tyler Stockwell reached on a Canisius single allowing Kyle Johnson to score the tying run.
Both sides' bats went silent until the top of the fifth when Canisius redshirt senior Christ Conley doubled to left center to score Wilson to lead 2-1.
In the bottom of the frame, Rider junior Richie Tecco hit a solo home run and senior Jake Bender singled up middle to plate sophomore Joe Simone, taking the 3-2 advantage.
The Blue and Gold added three runs in the sixth and two more in the eighth on a RBI double by senior Cyrus Senior, a two, two-runs singles by fellow classmate Ryan Stekl to finish off the 7-3 victory.
In Stevenson's seven innings of work, the southpaw scattering five hits and allowed three runs before handing the ball over to sophomore Will Frank for the six-out save.
Rider sent sophomore right-hander Pete Soporowski to the bump as he lasted 5.1 innings, surrendering four runs on nine hits while walking three. Redshirt junior CJ Hirschy finished out the rest of the contest allowing three runs (one earned).
A seven-run seventh inning, capped off by a walk-off grand slam, powers Rider past Canisius 13-12 in game two. The doubleheader spilt makes Canisius 23-16 overall and 11-6 in the MAAC, as Rider now sits at 11-25 on the season and 6-7 in conference play.
Rider was the one that got things started in the second game as they posted a three spot in the home half of the first on a RBI single by senior Harrison McClure and a two-run base hit by Johnson to take the 3-0 early advantage.
The Griffs responded immediately in the top of the second as they score three tallies of their own on RBI singles by freshman Jacob Martins, Wilson and Stekl to tie the score at three-all.
The seesaw battle continued as the Broncs took the lead, and more, on a single by junior Brennan McAllister to plate Tecco in the second followed by a RBI single by junior Mihalik in the fourth to go up 5-3.
In the fifth, Canisius took the lead for good on a RBI single by junior Canice Ejoh and capped off by a three-run home run from junior Conner Morro, his first of the season and first in a Griffs' uniform, to take the 7-5 lead.
Rider chipped away with a RBI ground out in the fifth, but the Blue and Gold added and a run in the sixth on a solo shot by Wilson to move further ahead at 8-6.
Canisius continued to pour it on in the top of the seventh as senior Joseph Preziuso launched a two-run home run to left field and, two batters later, after a walk to Senior, Wilson blasted his second home run of the game to extend the lead to 12-6.
In the seventh, the Bronc's offense came to life and, after getting back-to-back bases loaded singles to score three runs in total making the score 12-9, Bender hit a walk-off grand slam to spoil the Griffs day to take the 13-12 victory.
• With his six hits on Saturday, Wilson has reached base in all 38 games that he's played in this season and 39 times in his last 40 games dating back to last year.
• Wilson's last hit on Saturday was the 200th of his career, making him just the 11th Griff in school history to accomplish the feat and the second this year (Stekl vs. Western Carolina, Feb. 24).
• Preziuso's home run was the first of his career.
• Morro's home run was the first in a Griffs uniform after transferring into the program this past fall.

• With the win in game one Saturday, Stevenson moves into second place all-time in school history in wins with 25.
• Four home runs in game two on Saturday is the most for the Griffs since accomplishing the same feat versus East Tennessee State on March 2, 2014.
• The 13 hits in game one and 14 hits in game two for the Griffs gives the team 10-or more hits in 18 of 39 contests this year.
• The 12 runs in game two gives Canisius its 11th game of double-digit runs on the season, also pushing its record to 9-2 in such ballgames.
Canisius finishes off the three-game series at Rider Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for noon.

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