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Fron and Krull energize Canisius baseball past Kansas State

Trevor Henneman

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS



The Canisius baseball team used a pair of six-run innings to cruise to a 15-3 victory over Kansas State Tuesday evening at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.
 
The win improved the Golden Griffins to 5-14 on the season, while the Wildcats fell to 10-10 in 2019.
 
Leading the Griffs' offense was redshirt-juniorWilliam Krull and his 3-for-6, five RBI performance, while redshirt-freshman Mike Steffan also went 3-for-6 and junior Jacob Victor dorve in three RBI of his own.
 
Freshman Andrew Fron went five-plus innings in his second start and struck out seven Wildcats hitters to earn the win, while fellow freshman David Yankowski tossed three shutout frames to follow Fron.
 
K-State's starting pitcher, Zach Kokoska, was handed the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in one inning of work, but provided most of the Wildcats' offense with a two-RBI single. Jeffrey Boggess added two hits in the losing effort.
 
A pair of first-inning doubles gave the Griffs an early 2-0 lead, as Victor doubled home junior Jake Burlingame after Burlingame walked and swiped second. Krull followed in the next at-bat with a double to the left-center gap, plating Victor.
 
Canisius continued to score in the second, as a Joseph Preziuso bunt single and three-straight walks to senior Conner Morro, Burlingame and Victor brought home Preziuso. Krull then picked up two more RBIs with a single up the middle, and junior Stephen Bennett singled home another run. Krull then scored on a wild pitch and Steffan singled home Bennett, pushing the lead to 8-0.
 
K-State tacked on its first run in the fourth, as Thomas Hughes walked and Will Brennan doubled to put two in scoring position. Freshman leftfielder Dylan Vincent then made a sliding catch on a Cameron Thompson foul-out, as Hughes barely scored on the tag-up.
 
The Griffs scored its ninth run of the game in the fifth, as Morro stole second, allowing redshirt-freshmanCole Hollins to swipe home on the throw down to second.
 
The Wildcats loaded the bases in the sixth thanks to a Canisius error, forcing Fron from the game. Yankowski got the next two batters to strike out, but Kokoska came through for KSU with a single that scored two runs, cutting the lead to 9-3.
 
Canisius had another six-run inning in the seventh, as Victor was plunked with the bases loaded. Krull and Vincent then had back-to-back two-RBI singles, while a Preziuso single and a KSU error on the play brought Vincent in for the Blue and Gold's 15th run.
 
Fron finished the day with three runs allowed, with only one earned, and issuing three hits and three walks. Yankowski fanned five while giving up two hits. Sophomore Omar Ward closed out the game by giving up a walk and a hit-by-pitch while striking out two.
 
Head Coach Matt Mazurek's Postgame Comments
"The offense came out ready to go today and did a great job of making things happen in the box. We had strong at-bats and did a much better job with two strikes. The energy the offense gave to the team today was contagious.
 
"Fron pitched great, he worked hard in the last week making some adjustments and he got the results he deserved today. His outing was just what the staff and team needed - we would score and then Fron would give us a zero, which was a huge energy shift for us in the first five innings. David Yankowski also bounced back and pitch great - some freshmen really helped provide a spark for us today (Dylan Vincent on defense and at the plate, also) and it was great to see."
 
Game Notes
• This was the first all-time meeting between Canisius and Kansas State.
• Tuesday marked the first night game of the season for the Griffs.
• The win is Canisius' first over a Big 12 team since a 4-3 victory at West Virginia on March 18, 2018. The Griffs are now 4-4 all-time against Big 12 teams.
• It is also the Griffs' first win over a Power-Five school in 2019. The Griffs picked up three wins over Power-Five schools in 2018.
• Canisius' 15 runs are a season-high, previously scoring 13 in a March 10 loss to Dayton.
• 15 runs scored are the most since a 15-8 victory at St. Bonaventure on May 6, 2018.
• Morro's second-inning walk extended his on-base streak to 28 games, continuing a streak that began May 17, 2018 against Marist.
• Krull's five RBI are a career high, with the catcher previously picking up four RBI on May 6, 2018 at St. Bonaventure.
• Steffan's three hits match his career high from Feb. 25 at Charlotte.
• Victor matched a career-high three RBI he had at Kennesaw State on March 26, 2017, and matched a career-high three runs scored from Feb. 16 at North Carolina Central.
• Morro and Victor also matched career highs with two walks each.
• Fron and Yankowski both set career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts. Ward matched his career-high strikeout total.
• Tuesday is the 11th time Preziuso collected a career-best two hits.
• Vincent's two RBI are a career-high.
• Burlingame's three walks in the win establish a new career-best.
 
Up Next
Canisius and Kansas State are set to finish the midweek series Wednesday. The final contest of the Griffs' 20-game road stretch, the two teams are scheduled for a 3 p.m. first pitch. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

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