BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Monmouth University baseball team closed out the 2014 regular season with a pair of losses at Canisius on Friday afternoon, falling 9-2 in the first game and 15-4 in the nightcap at Demske Sports Complex. Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) had a three-hit day for the Blue and White. MU ends the regular season at 22-23, 12-10 in the MAAC while Canisius ends at 38-14, 20-4 in conference.
Chris McKenna (Pine Beach, N.J./Toms River, N.J.) got the loss in Game One to finish the regular season at 4-4. Ricky Dennis (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South) hurled 2.1 scoreless innings in the first game, allowing just one hit and one walk. Anthony Ciavarella (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg) lost the second game, allowing five runs in three innings. Devon Stewart won the opener for the Golden Griffins, while Jimmy Luppens had 3 RBI’s in Game One. Three Golden Griffins had three hits in Game Two, and Jake Lumley drove in three runs.
The Hawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first game after Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Northampton C.C./Warren Hills Regional) singled and eventually scored on Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy)’s ground-rule double to give MU a quick advantage.
Canisius answered with two in the bottom of the inning on Luppens’ RBI single and Brett Siddall’s ground-rule double to left center to score another run. The Golden Griffins put together a three-run inning in the fourth on five hits. Anthony Massicci had an RBI double in the inning, and Luppens added a two-run single to push the Canisius lead to 5-1.
The home team held that lead until the fourth, when they would add four more. Connor Panas drove in a run with a fielder’s choice, Shane Zimmer had a two-run single and Christ Conley capped off the four-run frame with an RBI single. Dennis came on to get the last out of the fourth and kept Canisius off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Guida added an RBI double for Monmouth in the sixth and the final score of the first game was 9-2 Canisius.
The second game saw Canisius score in seven innings on the afternoon, jumping out with single runs in the first and second. Luppens plated an run after a throwing error by MU, and Jesse Kelso tripled home a second inning run to make it 2-0 Griffings. Monmouth got one back in the third, with Guida reaching on a hit by pitch and Dave Moreno (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) moving him to third with a double before Bamford scored Guida with a sac fly to cut the Canisius lead to 2-1.
Kelso hit a solo home run in the fourth before Canisius broke the game open with six in the fifth. Siddall had a two-run single in the inning, and Panas did as well in addition to Jose Torralba’s RBI single and Ronnie Bernick’s hit by pitch with the bases loaded.
Monmouth scored three unearned runs in the seventh, as Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) reached on a fielding error by Luppens enabling Christian Holland (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) and Chris Gaetano (Madison Township, Pa./Scranton Preparatory) to score. With Avella batting, Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) scored on a wild pitch to cap off the three-run inning.
Luppens scored on a wild pitch in the seventh, and Canisius got a solo home run from Bernick to start the eighth. The Golden Griffins would add runs via a passed ball and an unearned run on a double play ball to complete the scoring and sweep the series with a 16-4 win.
The 2014 MAAC Baseball Tournament, hosted by Monmouth at First Energy Park in Lakewood, N.J., begins on Wednesday at noon. Seeding is still yet to be determined. The first game on Wednesday begins at noon, followed by a game at 3:30 and 7:00 p.m.