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NU baseball hosts defending MAAC champions Fairfield


NIAGARA UNIV. -- The Purple Eagles baseball team hosts the defending MAAC champions, the Fairfield Stags, for a three-game series Friday and Saturday.

Niagara matched up with crosstown rival Canisius for a single non-conference game at Sal Maglie Stadium, the site of the 2017 MAAC Baseball Championships, on Wednesday, April 26. The Golden Griffins defeated the Purple Eagles, 8-0.

Sophomore shortstop Greg Cullen leads the Purple Eagles at the plate with 49 hits. He is batting a team-best .360. Cullen is second on the team in RBI with RBI. Peter Battaglia, a freshman first baseman, leads the team in RBI with 32. Battaglia was named MAAC Rookie of the Week for the second time this season after recording six RBI in the Purple Eagles' series with Monmouth April 22-23. Junior outfielder Tanner Kirwer leads the team in runs scored (34), doubles (19) and stolen bases (17). On the mound, redshirt-junior Cody Eckerson (4-1) has fanned 34 batters in 36.0 innings pitched. His 1.50 ERA is the best of Niagara's starting rotation. Senior Daniel Procopio (5-2) has struck out a staff-high 64 batters in 47.0 innings pitched. Freshman Matthew Brash (5-0) is undefeated on the mound and has pitched the most innings for the Purple Eagles (55.0). Niagara's 8-7 MAAC record puts the team in a three-way tie for fifth place in the MAAC with Rider and Monmouth.

Sophomore infielder Jack Gethings leads the Stags at the plate. He has a team-high 50 hits and 28 runs scored and is batting a team-best .345. Kevin Radziewicz, a junior catcher, leads the team in RBI with 27. Senior outfielder Troy Scocca leads Fairfield with 11 doubles and three homeruns and junior outfielder Drew Arciuolo leads the team in stolen bases with 11. Junior Gavin Wallace (7-2) has struck out a staff-best 52 batters in 67.0 innings pitched. Wallace has pitched six complete games and has an ERA of 1.75.

Following Fairfield, Niagara resumes non-conference play at Buffalo. The teams will play a doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 2 p.m.