Baseball earns two wins against Rider
By: Aidan Joly, Sports Editor
In its first set of games coming off of a 10-day layoff, the Griffs (11–9) had a wide range of outcomes as it split a four-game set against Rider (13–12) on Sunday and Monday, winning 8–0 and losing 4–3 on Sunday, then dropping game one on Monday 5–2 before finishing out the series with a 5–4 victory.
In game one, the Griffs’ offense grabbed an early lead off of a Jacob Victor double in the first inning. It then added three runs in the fourth inning to make it 4–0. In the next frame, the Griffs added four more runs, Jake Burlingame driving in two of them on a double, bringing his RBI total to 12 on the season.
Meanwhile, starter Ryan Boyer was fantastic as he threw a seven-inning complete game, only giving up two hits and walking one while striking out eight Broncs. He only faced three over the minimum and did not allow a hit until the fourth inning.
“Just had good command of the fastball and breaking ball, was able to attack them,” Boyer said. “After the second inning I felt pretty good — first couple it’s always trying to get into a groove.”
Game two was a bit of a different story. The Broncs took an early 1–0 lead in the second inning and after the Griffs answered with two runs in the bottom half to take the lead. Rider answered in the third to tie it at two.
The Griffs had a ton of chances to take the lead, which was a constant the whole way. The Griffs left the bases loaded in the third, sixth and seventh innings and left two runners on in the first, second, fifth and ninth innings. Overall, it left 18 runners on base. The Griffs had 10 hits, drew nine walks and forced two Rider errors, sending the top four in the batting order to the plate six times and scored just three runs overall, adding one in the seventh inning.
Rider scored one each in the seventh and eighth innings to take the lead and hold on. In the ninth, the Griffs left the game-tying run in DeStefano at third after he led off the inning with an infield single.
“I think it was a lack of discipline because we had a bases-loaded out on a first pitch and we were out in front, where in the past we would see a pitch, get comfortable in the box and be able to let it get to us and hit it hard. So, we’ll just call it a lack of discipline and a lack of fortitude it took to win this one,” Mazurek said.
In the third game of the series, it was a two-run home run from Sean McGeehan as part of a three-run sixth inning for the Broncs that did the Griffs in after the game was tied at two coming into the frame.
Rider took the first lead of the day on a passed ball in the top of the third. In the bottom half, Burlingame ripped an RBI single to tie it at one. In the top of the fourth, McGeehan reached on a fielder’s choice to score a run. McGeehan had three RBI’s in the victory. Mike Mazzara added the second RBI for the Griffs.
Frank Doelling threw a complete game for Rider, while Will Frank threw four innings, giving up two runs on four hits and had four strikeouts.
In the final game of the series, the Griffs found themselves up 3–0 in the first four innings off of RBI’s from Burlingame, Vinny Chiarenza and Brennan Chisholm. Rider scored four runs in the fifth inning to give it a 4–3 lead before Dylan Vincent hit a game-tying home run in the sixth.
The game stayed tied at four until the ninth and Canisius earned its first walk-off win since 2019 on a fielding error by Rider off the bat of Burlingame that scored Chiarenza and gave the Griffs a 5–4 win.
“We did not come out and play our usual brand of baseball in the first game and it worked against us. We found the right recipe in the second game to stay in it long enough to get a bounce to go our way. A win is a win and we will take it,” Mazurek said.
After a bye week this weekend, the Griffs will play again on May 8 to kick off a four-game home set against Siena.