Canisius and Niagara were the winners Tuesday as Big 4 baseball teams opened the Western New York portions of their schedules.
The Golden Griffins (6-13) broke a 3-3 tie with four unearned runs in the third inning and went on to a 9-5 triumph over the University at Buffalo (6-10) at the Demske Sports Complex. Three of those runs crossed on an error, walk and wild pitch against losing pitcher Andrew White (Williamsville North). Ryan Stekl (Lancaster), who later doubled home a Canisius run, started the rally with a leadoff single. Chris Kwitzer (St. Mary’s) had an RBI double and Ben Haefner (Lancaster) singled home a run for UB.
Freshman shortstop Greg Cullen singled home Tanner Kirwer in the top of the ninth to give Niagara (4-17-1) a 4-3 win over St. Bonaventure (9-5-1) in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader at Fred Handler Field. It was Cullen’s third hit of the game. Matt McCuen (Sweet Home) then retired the Bonnies in the bottom of the ninth for the save, the last out coming when pinch-runner Alex Schutz was caught stealing. Tyler Walter had two hits including a triple and two RBIs for Bona. The teams played to a 1-1 tie in the nightcap, which was called after nine innings because of darkness.