Wilson lighting a fire for Griffs’ offense

Wilson-2

Liam Wilson has recorded a base hit in all but one game so far this season. He also has reached base in all 28 games. (Marshall Haim/The Griffin)

By Nolan Hopkins

Assistant Sports Editor

Liam Wilson is absolutely on fire.

The Griffs senior utility man has been burning opposing pitching so far this season, hitting to the tune of a .373 average, to go with five home runs and 26 RBI. In addition to these numbers, Wilson also leads the Blue and Gold in hits (44), doubles (16), triples (three) and total bases (81).

Not only are Wilson’s offensive numbers some of the best on his squad, he also stacks up well statistically with other players in the MAAC.

Canisius’ ultimate utility player currently sits in the top 10 of multiple major statistical categories amongst conference hitters, including, batting average, hits, home runs and runs batted in. He leads the conference in triples, slugging percentage (.686) and is tied for the lead in runs scored (27) with fellow senior teammate Ryan Stekl.

But perhaps the most impressive stat for Wilson thus far is that he has recorded a hit in 27 of 28 total games.

Wilson’s career-high 15-game hit streak was snapped in the second game of a three-game weekend set against West Virginia (March 17), which also happens to be the only game in which the senior standout has not tallied a base hit.

He followed up his season-opening 15-game hit streak by starting up another streak, however, this time it is only a modest 12-game hit streak, which he currently owns.

In Liam’s most recent performance against Kent State on Wednesday, he finished the day 4-for-6 at the plate with two home runs and five RBI.

This consistency and production from the middle of the lineup have propelled the Griffs to a record of 17-11 at around the midpoint of the season.

“It’s great in terms of consistency, that you know you can pencil a guy into your lineup and you’re going to get something out of that spot each and every game,” head coach Matt Mazurek said. “That helps make the lineup a little bit easier. The team knows when Liam comes up we’re going to get something out of him or out of the at-bat.”

Liam was named to the Preseason All-MAAC first team prior to the campaign. That’s an accolade that may prove to be too much additional pressure for some ballplayers, but not for this Ayr, Ont. native.

In fact, receiving that recognition is something that rarely crosses his mind, and it most certainly has not changed his mentality at the plate.

“I’m just trying to stay consistent with my at-bats,” Wilson said.“Put the ball in play and hit it hard — not trying to do too much — look for a pitch I can do something with and capitalize on when I get it.”

Although Liam is the centerpiece of the starting nine, he is not the only hitter that is fueling the high powered Griffs offense. Fellow seniors Christ Conley and Stekl are both producing nicely around Wilson, creating a three-headed monster in the middle of the order.

“It’s so important [to have consistent production from the middle of the lineup], whenever you can have guys consistently in the lineup when you’re writing it, it’s going to help the team,”coach Mazurek said.

Wilson received even higher praise from Mazurek, as he compared Liam’s mental and physical tools to former Canisius standout, Brett Siddall.

Siddall, a 2015 graduate, is currently the left fielder for the Midland Rockhounds, the Double-A affiliate for the Oakland Athletics. Siddall was a career .326 hitter for the Griffs and is currently batting .278 for the Rockhounds.

Wilson currently has a .339 career batting average while donning the Blue and Gold.

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