Jasper Baseball Faces Off With Canisius in Season Opener

By, Kyla Guilfoil, Editor-in-Chief 

Jasper Baseball beat Canisius in their first MAAC game of the 2022 season. The team took a 2-1 win in the first game of a weekend series against Canisius on Friday, March 25. 

Matt Padre brought home the winning run in the ninth inning, after junior Pete Durocher delivered a one-out single through the left side. The win against Canisius sets Manhattan (9-10, 1-0 MAAC) up to start the MAAC season strongly. 

Both Manhattan and Canisius (8-11, 0-1) had solid outings from their respective starting pitchers. For the Jaspers, Will Hesslink played 6.1 innings, striking out eight and only allowing one unearned run from the Golden Griffiths. Hesslink has proved himself this spring, allowing only two earned runs or less in five of his six starting plays this season. For Canisius, pitcher Matt Duffy held on for seven innings, allowing one run and fanning four MC hitters. 

The Jasper win was not apparent in the opening innings. Duffy kept the Jaspers swinging empty air for five innings, while Jake Zurat took the first run for Canisius at the top of the fifth. 

Manhattan came back by the next inning, tying the Golden Griffiths at the bottom of the sixth. It was David Bermudez who brought in Frankie Marinelli to make up the difference. The Jaspers kept going, loading up the bases after a pair of hit batters with one away. However, a dropped third strike left Bermudez without a finished run. 

John Farley brought the Jaspers relief after pitching 2.2 scoreless innings. At the end of the seventh, he got a double-play ball after coming in for Hesslink. He brought home the win for MC in the eighth and ninth innings. 

The teams came back on Saturday at 11 a.m. for game two of the weekend set, with the Golden Griffiths taking the win with a final score of 13-5, a major leap in runs scored compared to Friday’s combined three points. 

The Jaspers opened the game strong with two runs in the first inning by David Bermudez and Jack Lynch. 

The Golden Griffiths geared up for the second inning, though, racking up six runs. In the end, 11 players made it to plate for Canisius in the inning. Vinny Chiarenza, a Canisius graduate student, took the only extra-base hit of the second after hitting a two-RBI double to left field. 

The next two innings slowed the scoreboard, with neither team taking a run until the fifth, when the Jaspers nicked in one more run for their side. In the sixth, MC bumped their score up to three after taking two more runs. The Jaspers final runs were claimed by a two-run homer smashed by Pete Durocher. 

Canisius was not letting the Jaspers take another lead, and cut a deep deficit by claiming four runs in the seventh inning. After an even 0-0 eighth, the Golden Griffiths finished the game off with another three runs in the ninth.

In the end, Bermudez and Durocher finished with two RBI. The only multi-hitter for MC was Zahan Meyer. 

On the other side, Chris Pouliot held on for sixth innings in order to give the Golden Griffiths the redeeming win. After allowing six runs over five innings, Jordan Warecke picked up the loss for Canisius. Chiarenza finished with four RBI, and Dylan Vincent went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for Canisius.

MC and Canisius returned to Clover Stadium for game three of the series on Sunday, with the first pitch flying off at noon.

Going into conference play the Jaspers were ranked number one in MAAC statistics for ERA, batting average and fielding percentage. However, after the season kicked off, MC stands at third in the same categories.