Griffs baseball falls to 4-8 after sweep by No. 20 Liberty Flames
By: Jay Ashdown
Canisius Baseball suffered their first sweep of the 2022 season as they dropped three straight at the hands of the nationally ranked Liberty Flames.
Game one would be the closest game the Griffs would play this series, as they lost 4-1. Matty Duffy got the start for the Griffs, and he was solid once again as he struck out a season-high eight batters over his six innings on the mound. Duffy did get the loss, as he allowed five hits and four runs, with three of them earned.
While the Griffs lost the game, their ace looked pretty solid against a very good Liberty team, and that’s a good takeaway from the series for the team. Max Grant and Dylan Vincent had three hits apiece for Canisius, accounting for six of the team's seven base hits in the first matchup.
The next two games were rough for Canisius, as the team yielded 14 runs in both games two and three, and only mustered up eight runs total in both games combined.
Game two saw Aaron Duffy get the start, and he only lasted 2.1IP for the Griffs, allowing six earned runs on three hits, three walks, and one hit by pitch. One bright spot for the Griffs in the game was Justin Guiliano coming out of the bullpen throwing 3.2IP with only two hits allowed, no walks, and five strikeouts.
Mike Steffan continued his red-hot start to the season with a pair of hits and an RBI in the defeat for Canisius. Dylan Vincent followed Steffan’s lead with a pair of hits and an RBI as well, continuing his solid series at the plate.
In the final game, Canisius fell 14-5 to Liberty, as the Flames improved their record to 10-1 on the season, with their only loss coming at the hands of the Florida Gators.
The Griffs had a solid start to the game, going up 2-0 on an RBI groundout by Mike Steffan, coupled with a balk that allowed Grant to score from third. It was just the second time all series Canisius had a lead on Liberty, the first coming in game one when Canisius scored in the top of the first.
The Griffs lead was short lived, as the team gave up twelve straight runs in three innings to go down 12-2. Despite a solid 5th inning offensively to get three runs on the board, the Griffs never got it back, and gave up two more runs in the final defeat of the series.
Mike DeStefano and Max Grant had a solid day at the plate, as they combined to go 5-for-10 at the plate with four runs scored. DeStefano hit a home run in the game, his first of the season.
While the Griffs have dropped four games in a row, they’ve done so by losing three to a nationally ranked Liberty team, and one to a power five school in West Virginia. These games are a very good opportunity for the Griffs to find what they need to work on, and help them improve throughout the course of the season.
Facing tougher competition is key for any college program to succeed, and the Griffs are just getting started for what should be a solid season in MAAC play.