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  • Colin Richey

Has baseball's offense turned the corner?

By Colin Richey, Assistant Sports Editor


Last weekend, Canisius baseball completed a three-game sweep against Siena, defeating the Saints 18–10 on Friday, April 12, and winning both ends of their doubleheader on Saturday, 9–6 and 7–6.

 

On Friday, the Griffs used 25 mile per hour winds to their advantage, scoring a season-best 18 runs. “It was a crazy game,” said junior Trent Rumley. “It was a good day to be a hitter with the wind, because the ball was flying out. Both teams capitalized on it. We obviously capitalized on it more, but it was a good day to be a hitter.” 


Freshman JC Spinosa believed the team’s overall approach was no different than any other game. “No matter the conditions outside, we all go up with the same approach and try to keep things simple. It was a good day to be a hitter and a couple balls fell our way, and I think you need some luck on your side to be a successful team.”


On Saturday, the team’s 16 total runs sealed the sweep. Going into the series averaging just over 5 runs per game, Canisius averaged 11.3 runs per game against the Saints. 


Rumley’s weekend consisted of four hits, four runs, and eight RBIs. The infielder set a season-high in hits, home runs, runs scored and bases stolen in the series. “I was really locked in. I knew we needed those wins badly, coming off of two weekends where we probably could’ve been better as a team. I knew that I needed to take on a bigger role at the plate, and that was all I was trying to do.”


Rumley wasn’t the only offensive presence to emerge, and according to him, it wasn’t a surprise to see other teammates step up at the plate as well. “It was just a matter of time for these guys to start coming out. JC [Spinosa] is a freshman, you have a guy like Howie Stuckey coming from a JUCO school and now just starting to get experience and get their feet wet, now they’re ready to roll. Our lineup as a whole is really just starting to hit our stride.”


The series culminated in dramatic fashion, when a three-run comeback from Siena in game three forced Canisius to score in the bottom of the ninth or risk extra innings. A double from Spinosa combined with a passed ball got him to third. A wild pitch from Siena led to Spinosa sprinting for home plate, and the win, with Spinosa narrowly avoiding an out. 


Breaking down the play, Spinosa claimed it came down to one thing – anticipation. “It was really all about anticipation, being ready for the moment, not missing the moment when your number is called – just anticipating a dirt ball there and using my experience of what I’ve seen in the past, and going off of instinct,” was what helped him beat the tag at home plate. 


Canisius will look to continue their success at the plate, traveling to Hamden, Connecticut to take on Quinnipiac in a triple header that starts on Friday, April 19, at 3 p.m.


Photo courtesy of Lindy Feider

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