Purple Eagles improve to 9-7 in 2017
The Purple Eagles baseball team swept a doubleheader versus the Bowling Green Falcons on Sunday, March 19. Niagara bested the Falcons from Steller Field in Bowling Green, OH, winning two close contests by scores of 3-1 and 3-2.
Niagara’s last series on March 9-11 saw them drop two of three games to Marshall University in Huntington, WV. The pair of Sunday wins improves their record to 9-7, while Bowling Green drops to 4-12 in 2017.
The first matchup between the two clubs was scheduled for Saturday, but was cancelled; the two teams instead played a doubleheader on Sunday. In game one, the Purple Eagles beat the Falcons 3-1. RBI from Greg Cullen, Peter Battaglia and Nick Bernick and multi-hit performances from Cullen, Tanner Kirwer and Trevor McCauley were met with 5.0 shutout innings by Matthew Brash out of the bullpen.
Bowling Green took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against Niagara starter Cody Eckerson. The left-handed Eckerson allowed the lone run and three walks in 3.0 innings of work, striking out a season-high six hitters. Brash improves to 3-0 in 2017, allowing just two hits and one walk. Matt McCuen earned his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
All three of Bowling Green’s hits in game one came off the bat of designated hitter Greg Basalyga, who went 3-4. Righty starter Tyler Anderson drops to 1-3 on the season, allowing eight hits and three earned runs in his five-inning start for the Falcons.
In game two, Niagara scored in the top of the first, with first baseman Peter Battaglia knocking in shortstop Greg Cullen with a RBI double against starter Zac Carey. Their 1-0 lead did not last long, with Bowling Green evening the score at one in the bottom of the frame, as Joe McGuinness doubled in a run. In the top of the third, Joel Brophy singled in Tanner Kirwer to regain the Niagara lead. Kirwer later plated Joseph Tevlin the top of the seventh for the Purple Eagle’s third run. Tevlin went 2-4 in game two, with Cullen going hitless, but walking twice.
Nate Mascellino tossed 6.1 innings, allowing just two runs on three hits to earn the win for Niagara. His record improves to 2-3, as he earns his first win since Feb. 26. Bowling Green’s starter Carey also lasted 6.1 innings, striking out five while yielding three earned runs. Mascellino was replaced by Alex MacKinnon, who hit and walked the only two batters he faced. Niagara’s Matt McCuen allowed just one hit in 2.2 relief innings, picking up his second save of the day.
Niagara’s next matchup will come Tuesday, March 21, with the Purple Eagles traveling to Olean, N.Y. to battle St. Bonaventure. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Two games against Manhattan College on March 25-27 will be followed by the Purple Eagle’s first home games of the season, with Niagara scheduled to take on Saint Peter’s on April 1-2.
Photo courtesy of PurpleEagles.com