By Jamie Magone:
Last season, Niagara’s baseball team gave up ten runs or more just four times. In already five out of fourteen games this season the Purple Eagles have achieved that unfortunate feat. This has resulted in six out of the Eagles fourteen pitchers who have made appearances this season to have an earned run averages above 6.00.
Meanwhile, the Eagles offense has averaged 5 runs per game, which is nothing to sneeze at, but has only resulted in a record of 4-10.
Looking around the rest of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Purple Eagles pitching staff is not yet sizing up. With a team ERA of 6.52, which currently ranks 9th out of 10 teams in the conference (only ranked ahead of 0-17 Siena), the Eagles have plenty of room to grow as conference play approaches.
Head Coach Rob McCoy stated earlier in the season that he likes the team to pitch and play defense, and thus far the Eagles are only living up to half the bill, sitting at 4th in the conference in fielding percentage.
On the bright side, the Eagles have shown flashes of talent and the possibility that things might pick up once conference play begins for them on March 30. Over St. Patrick’s day weekend, the Eagles split a four game series with Michigan State, a team from the much larger and generally stronger Big Ten Conference. On the flip side, MSU holds a 6-12 record and is currently in last place in the conference, so even those victories could be taken with a grain of salt.
The Eagles have not finished with a winning record in the MAAC since 2010, so the team will need to continue to grow if they want to end up near the top this season. The team has two games remaining on the non-conference slate as they’ll attempt to climb back towards the .500 mark.
Stats via maacsports.com and are as of 3/19/2018
Photos via purpleeagles.com