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  • Andrew Nowel

Bats Can’t Power Baseball Past Spartans, Fall in Non-Conference Niagara Game Tuesday

By: Andrew Nowelm Sports Reporter

The 66 degrees in Greensboro, North Carolina was perfect for baseball as the Canisius Golden Griffins arrived on Friday to begin a three-game series against the UNC Greensboro Spartans. However, a rainout on Friday caused a doubleheader on Saturday where the Spartans took both games with 35 runs being scored throughout the day. The Griffs won Sunday’s game 8-3 to take the final game of the series, but the momentum would not continue as the Griffs struggled in a non-conference matchup against the Niagara Purple Eagles on Tuesday, falling 7-4.

Saturday’s doubleheader got started with strong pitching from both the Spartans and the Griffs. Junior Peyton Consigli started the game, going four innings with four earned runs on seven hits, but had no walks and six strikeouts. The Griffs would not allow another run as graduate student Tom Peltier pitched a spectacular four innings with only two hits and one other base runner on a hit by pitch. 

However, the Griffs struggled at the plate to score runs as the Spartans Freshman Noah Chapman held the Canisius to one earned run over 4.2 innings pitched with three hits allowed and six strikeouts. That one run would be all as the Spartans shut down the Griffs 4-1 to take the first game of the series and doubleheader.

Game two was the highest scoring game of the season for the Canisius as neither team pitched well in an 18-12 victory for the Spartans. The Griffs had an excellent start to the game in the top of the first, scoring six runs. Junior Trent Rumley got it started with an RBI single, leading to a walk and three wild pitches plus an error to score the six runs. 

However, their offense would not plate any more runs until the 9th inning where the Spartans held an 18-6 lead. The Spartans scored in every single inning to plate the total of 18 runs, and it just was not a good day for the Griffs pitching staff. Nine walks, five wild pitches, and five hit batters did not help as a total of 10 hits were given up with 13 earned runs.

Canisius needed a bounce back win to avoid the sweep of the weekend, and they got just that on Sunday with an 8-3 victory over the Spartans. Led by Preseason All-MAAC Junior Jackson Strong, who went four-for-four with two singles, a triple, and a homer, the Griffs powered their way past the Spartans. The biggest part of Sunday’s win was stolen bases as it has been all season as, after the series, the Griffs were the sixth best team in stolen bases per game with 3.00 while Strong, himself, was sixth in DI with 1.00 per game while being 13th in total stolen bases with eight.

On command and the pitching this weekend, Coach Mazurek talked about being more efficient on the mound to be able to win games.

“We need to operate with more conviction and confidence on the mound,” said Coach Mazurek. “We are too easily letting one little thing stand in our way instead of moving forward and operating one pitch at a time. We work too hard to allow ourselves to let some adversity work against us. We need to learn from our past failures and move forward with a better attack mindset and trust our stuff and put that into our work during the week.”

Canisius added a game on Tuesday, a non-conference matchup against the Niagara Purple Eagles, where the Purple Eagles had control of the game. The bats were not a problem for the Griffs as they earned 11 hits, but they couldn’t score with runners in scoring position (RISP). Strong had another great day at the plate, going three-for-five while Senior first baseman Carlin Dick went three-for-three. Pitching allowed five earned runs as an error in the sixth inning helped to plate two more runs. 

The Purple Eagles won this Battle of the Bridge 7-4, dropping the Griffs to 3-6 on the season. They will travel to Washington D.C. on Friday to begin a three-game series against the George Washington Revolutionaries that runs through Sunday as they look to get back on track heading deeper into March.

Photo courtesy of Joe Lehrman

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