With Vinny Esposito (Middletown, NJ) on third base following a lead-off triple, Canuso hit a groundball to short. The throw from GA Tech shortstop Tyler Greene sailed high and Canuso attempted to change directions and break for second base when the injury occurred. Two steps towards the second base bag, Canuso fell to the ground and was helped off the field by the coaching staff and team trainer Don Kessler.
“I tried to change directions when I saw the throw sail into the stands and my body went one way and my leg went the other,” said Canuso. “I heard a pop when it happened and I knew it was pretty serious.”
Canuso took over the starting first base job four games into the season and was batting .300 with a team-best two home runs and five RBI. He was also slugging a team-best .600 and had played flawlessly at first base. He homered in the series opener vs. Georgia Tech and was hitting .333 (6-for-18) since taking over as the starter.
“Rich was swinging the bat really well for us,” said head coach Fred Hill. “He had solidified the middle of our lineup over the last four games, but we have a very talented senior who will fill the void in Steve Normane. Steve is a talented player in his own right and hit over .300 for us last season, so I don’t think we will miss a beat. On a personal level, you feel bad for Rich because he was playing his best baseball right now.”
Canuso will undergo surgery to repair the ACL tear in the near future and should make a full recovery following approximately six months of rest and rehabilitation. In his absence, senior Steve Normane (Pt. Pleasant, NJ) will return to his starting spot, while a pair of newcomers – sophomore Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ) and freshman Steve Hook (Langhorne, PA) – will serve as the backups. Gaynor has worked out exclusively at catcher during the preseason, but saw significant time at first base as a freshman at Northeastern in 2002.