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NU baseball faces Little 3 rival St. Bonaventure


NIAGARA UNIV. -- The Purple Eagles head to Olean for a single game with Little 3 rival St. Bonaventure at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The Purple Eagles swept their three-game season series with the Saint Peter's Peacocks. Niagara and Saint Peter's kept things close in game on, but NU pulled out a 3-2 victory. Greg Cullen and Peter Battaglia had one RBI each and six players recorded one hit. Cody Eckerson (3-1) struck out four batters in 5.0 innings pitched and Matt McCuen earned his fourth save of the season. NU shutout the Peacocks, 7-0, in game two. Battaglia led the Purple Eagles with two RBI and Tanner Kirwer and Joel Brophy each had two hits, two runs scored and two doubles. Daniel Procopio (3-2) struck out eight batters in 6.0 innings pitched to pick up the win. In the final game of the series, Niagara defeated Saint Peter's, 8-1. Cullen led Niagara with four hits, three doubles and two stolen bases. Battaglia and Kirwer each had a team-high two RBI. Matthew Brash (4-0) struck out six in 7.0 innings pitched and remained undefeated on the mound.

Sophomore shortstop Cullen is batting a team-best .348. He leads the team in hits with 31 and is second in RBI with 19. Freshman first baseman Battaglia leads the Purple Eagles in RBI with 20. He has 28 hits, seven doubles and is a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases. Kirwer, a junior outfielder, leads the team in runs scored with 22 and doubles with 16. He also has a team-best .551 slugging percentage. He has recorded 30 hits and 14 RBI on the season so far. Freshman Brash (4-0) leads the Niagara pitching staff in innings pitched with 37.0. He has struck out 33 batters and has an ERA of 2.68. Procopio (3-2), a senior, has thrown a team-high 37 strikeouts in 30.0 innings pitched and has an ERA of 3.30.

Junior shortstop Cole Peterson leads the Bonnies with 29 hits, 22 runs scored and eight doubles. He is batting .337. David Vaccaro, a junior outfielder, leads the team in RBI with 21. He also has a team-best three homeruns on the season so far. On the mound, junior Aaron Phillips (4-0) leads St. Bonaventure with 40.0 innings pitched and 32 strikeouts. He has an ERA of 3.38.

The Purple Eagles host conference opponent Quinnipiac for a three-game series: a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon and a single game on Sunday, also starting at noon.