Red-hot Griffs over .500 as successful April continues
By: Jay Ashdown
The Canisius Golden Griffins baseball team has moved to 17–16 on the season with some stellar play over the last few weeks. The team is also killing it in conference play, as the Griffs have won eight of their twelve MAAC competitions.
The Griffs hot streak started with a tune-up series over lowly Iona. The Gaels came into the series against Canisius winless, and they remained that way by the time the series was over.
Stellar pitching and high octane offense led to the Griffs dismantling of the Gaels, as they outscored Iona in all three games combined by a margin of 37–13. The offense was consistent, as they scored twelve runs in two of the three games and thirteen in the other game.
While the Gaels may be one of the worst teams in college baseball this season, possessing a 1–30 record, the Griffs still needed to be sharp to ensure they got the series sweep, and a performance as well as this may have helped give the team much needed momentum as they progress through the season.
The Griffs followed up this performance with an 11–1 win over St. Bonaventure in Olean, N.Y. The attack was resilient as the Griffs scored in five of the possible nine innings, starting with a two–run first inning. The Griffs scored a combined six runs in the first, third, seventh, and eighth innings, but their real damage came when they drove in five runs in the fifth. Two singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for the Griffs, and Kyle Kush, Trevor Henneman and Mike DeStefano did the rest. Kush provided an RBI single, while Henneman and DeStefano drove in two runs each when Trevor hit a ground rule double and Mike had a single himself.
With the bats hot for the Griffs, it stayed with them over the weekend as the Griffs scored 45 runs in their three games against the Marist Red Foxes. The Griffs only took two of three in the series, as Canisius dropped a wild game two that saw Marist win 18–17. Despite dropping one of the games, Canisius still won the series and saw incredible success at the plate. Canisius’s offense has been incredible, and when they’re at their absolute peak like they have been, they’re a scary team to face in the MAAC.
“For them to not find success the first time through the order and then second time through the order they’re more comfortable and more confident is good,” head coach Matt Mazurek said. “They know the first at-bat does not define the next at-bat.”
The Griffs lost their last game to rival Niagara on the road 3–1, but are looking to shake off the loss quickly when they head down to Athens, Ohio to play a doubleheader against the Bobcats on Saturday. They’ll return home next Tuesday to play their home game against St. Bonaventure. The team’s next conference series will be next week as they travel to Loudonville, N.Y. to take on Siena.