Courtesy of GoGriffs.com
LEWISTON, N.Y. – The Canisius baseball program will have an opportunity to defend its 2015 conference title at the upcoming MAAC Tournament, as the squad clinched a postseason berth with a 7-3 win over Niagara on Thursday. Canisius also defeate Niagara in game two of the doubleheader, 4-1. The Blue and Gold needed to win just one game during the three-game series to secure the spot in postseason play. Canisius has now earned a spot in postseason play a MAAC-leading 10 times. With the wins the Griffs improved to 29-25 overall and 15-8, while Niagara dropped to 16-35-1 and 11-12 in MAAC action
After falling behind 2-0 after the first two innings, Adam Tricarico powered a four-run rally with a three-run homerun in the top of the third, to push the Griffs out in front and the squad never relinquished the lead.
Zachary Sloan got the start and settled in after a couple of early hiccups, as he worked four strong innings, and surrounded three hits and two runs (Both unearned) and fanned one as he improved to 1-0 this season.
Aaron Casper came on in relief and worked three innings yielded two hits, while Andrew Kneussle came on to finish out the game, allowed no hits and no runs in the outing.
The Griffs offense was led by a quartet of players as Jake Lumley, Liam Wilson, Tim Kensinger, and Tricarico all had a pair of hits in the game. Tricarico four-RBI day paced the team. Mark McKenna had the only other RBI in the contest.
After Niagara plated one run in both the bottom of the firs tand second innings, the Griffs got to work in the top of the third.
Kensinger singled to lead off the inning, and following a strikeout by Anthony Massicci, Wilson was hit by a pitch to put two Griffs aboard. Christ Conley flied out to left field to give Niagara two outs in the inning but the Purple Eagles gave Ryan Stekl a free pass a batter later to load the bases.
With Tricarico at bat, Kensinger came in on a passed ball to score the Griffs’ first run of the game. With Wilson and Stekl still on base, Tricarico belted a homerun to left field to give Canisius a 4-2 lead.
Canisius added three more runs, scoring once in the top of the fourth, fifth and seventh innings as the squad fended off Niagara the rest of the way.
The Blue and Gold scored three runs between the top of the fifth and sixth innings, and the pitching duo of Nolan Hunt and Iannick Remillard held Niagara to just three hits and four baserunners total.
For the second-straight contest the Griffs rebounded from giving up the first run of the contest, as Niagara struck in the bottom of the first frame.
Canisius answered in the top half of the third inning, as a throwing error by the Purple Eagles, allowed Lumley to reach base and Massicci to score, to make it 1-1.
In the top of the fifth the Blue and Gold took the lead thanks to single by Wilson, who drove in McKenna and Jack Massa.
Kensinger scored in the top of the sixth to cap the Canisius scoring as, Conley grounded into a double play but brought in Kensinger who was stationed at third base.
Freshman Nolan Hunt finished his first regular season with a perfect 5-0 record, as he worked 5.2 innings and yielded just three hits and one run (unearned). He fanned one batter in the win.
Iannick Remillard, who continues to hit milestones in his senior campaign, hit one more this today, recording his 16th save of the season. Remillard came on and worked 1.1 innings and allowed no hits and no runs in the outing. With his latest save, Remillard set the new MAAC record for saves in a season, besting the mark by Tyler Smith who pitched for Rider in 2011. Smith tallied 15 that season.
With its pair of wins today, the Blue and Gold have now reeled off 15 straight wins over the Purple Eagles and haven’t lost to its rival from Lewiston, N.Y. since the 2011 season. That year the Purple Eagles won the series-finale after dropping the first two games.
Canisius can make it 16-straight wins tomorrow afternoon, when the squad concludes the 2016 regular season with a single game against Niagara tomorrow at Bobo Field.