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NU baseball earns walk-off win to split doubleheader


NIAGARA UNIV. -- The Niagara baseball team earned its second walk-off win in three days to split a doubleheader with St. Bonaventure on Tuesday.

Game 1: St. Bonaventure 5, Niagara 1

St. Bonaventure (14-12) took the early 4-0 lead over the Purple Eagles (17-11) in the top of the first after a three-run homerun and a one-run homer. The Bonnies extended their lead, 5-0, in the top of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, with bases loaded, Greg Cullen reached base on a fielding error by second base, scoring Julian Gallup. The Purple Eagles, however, could not overcome the Bonnies' lead. Six players recorded one hit and Cullen had one double. On the mound, Tyler Howard (0-2) struck out four batters in 3.0 innings pitched. Nigel Stearns, who relieved Howard in the fourth inning, struck out six batters, walked none and allowed only one unearned run in his 4.0 innings pitched.

Game 2: Niagara 2, St. Bonaventure 1

In the bottom of the second, Michael Gabriele singled down the left field line to score Trevor McCauley and give NU the 1-0 lead. Niagara held the Bonnies scoreless until the top of the sixth inning, when one run crossed the plate on a wild pitch. The score remained tied, 1-1, through the remainder of the seven scheduled innings, forcing the game into an extra inning. In the bottom of the eighth, with two runners on base, McCauley singled to center field, scoring Peter Battaglia to give the Purple Eagles the walk-off win. McCauley led Niagara with two hits and two stolen bases. McCauley and Gabriele each recorded one RBI. Matt McCuen (1-1) picked up the win, striking out two batters and walking none in 1.2 innings pitched.

The Purple Eagles head to Lawrenceville, N.J. for a three-game series with the Rider Broncs Friday and Saturday.