September 1, 2018 Onondaga, NY: The Onondaga Flames of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) announced today that Canisius junior third baseman Stephen Bennett will return to the Flames for the 2019 summer season. Bennett played for the Flames in 2017 when he slashed .317/.411/.394, earning him a spot on the PGCBL Prospect Team, meant to identify players with the greatest future draft potential. This past summer the former Auburn High School star played for the Richmond Jazz of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League earning a spot on the All-Star Team with a slash line of .307/.403/.491.
“It’s no mystery whether or not Stephen can hit PGCBL pitching and he is perfect for our ballpark. A strong line drive hitter, he slammed nine doubles and a triple for us in 2017. He also blasted the only two home runs hit out of our park that season. They’re still in my mind’s eye – two line drive shots over the 390 foot left-centerfield fence on successive days.” commented Flames president Wayne Walker. “We’re excited to have Stephen back in a Flames uniform.”
As a sophomore, Bennett batted .284 for the Golden Griffons last year with three doubles, two triples and fourteen RBIs. A scholar athlete, Bennett recently was named to the 2018 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Baseball All-Academic Team.
About Canisius College Baseball @GriffsBaseball
Canisius College is a highly successful NCAA Division 1 program located in Buffalo, NY. This decade the program compiled a .594 and .680 overall and conference winning percentages, respectively. The Griffs are fresh from an appearance in the 2018 College World Series in Minneapolis.
The Golden Griffons are members in the highly competitive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), which includes .Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter’s University, and Siena College. The Griffs won the 2013 and 2015 Conference Championships.
Canisius is led by newly appointed Head Coach Matt Mazurek. A star alumni and long-time assistant, Matt is just the fourth head coach for the baseball program in the last 40 years. Mazurek has served as the program’s hitting instructor for eight seasons, where a total of 11 different Griffs ranked among the MAAC’s top-five in batting average. Additionally, Canisius has led the conference in home runs four times in those eight seasons, highlighted by a school record 90 homers in 2009, which ranked the Griffs 19th in the nation as a team.
The Silver Creek, N.Y., native was a member of the coaching staff that has helped produce 13 Major League Baseball draft picks since 2009, including seven hitters (Jake Lumley, Conor Panas, Brett Siddall, Sean Jamieson, Steve McQuail, Kevin Mailloux and Kevin Mahoney).
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League was founded in the fall of 2010 in conjunction with Perfect Game USA, baseball’s largest scouting service. The PGCBL is upstate New York’s premier summer wood bat league. Every year since its inaugural season in 2011, the PGCBL has sent players to the pros and has had several alumni selected in the MLB Draft with each year.
The Onondaga Flames are a wooden bat summer league team comprised of top college players from coast-to-coast as well as the best local players..The Flames are operated in a fashion similar to Minor League Baseball (MiLB), providing safe affordable family entertainment with high caliber baseball. The team has a mascot (Blaze), on-field entertainment, raffles and affordable concessions.
The Flames play at the beautiful Onondaga Community College baseball complex, located on Onondaga Hill, home of the Onondaga Nation, an original member of the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, one of the oldest forms of democracy in the history of the world.
As the “Fire Keepers”, the Onondagas continue to be responsible for the gathering of the leaders of all of the Six Nations in Grand Council. They open and close the councils and sanction the decisions arrived by the Council of Chiefs. The Onondaga Flames are named after the great Onondaga Nation and proudly wear their flame logo..
In 2017, its first year, the Flames played in the PGCBL and made the playoffs. The team moved to the NYCBL and won the league championship, sweeping the playoffs, winning 15 of their last 16 games and leading the league in hitting, pitching and fielding. The Flames have announced their return to the PGCBL for the 2019 season and thereafter.