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NU baseball splits doubleheader with Monmouth


WEST LONG BRACH, N.J. – The Purple Eagles baseball team split a doubleheader with conference opponent Monmouth on Sunday.

Game 1: Niagara 6, Monmouth 4

The Hawks (14-21, 8-7 MAAC) got on the board first in game one, scoring once in the bottom of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. The Purple Eagles (18-16, 8-7 MAAC) answered in the top of the third. With bases loaded, Peter Battaglia was walked, scoring Darian Blanks for NU's first run of the game. Trevor McCauley then flied out to center field to send Tanner Kirwer home and put Niagara up, 2-1. Monmouth tied things up, 2-2, in the bottom of the third, but Niagara quickly reclaimed its lead. In the top of the fourth inning, Wyatt Olson scored on a wild pitch. Blanks doubled down the third base line to score Michael Gabriele. Kirwer then reached base on a throwing error by the Monmouth pitcher and advanced to third base; Blanks scored on the error. Battaglia flied out to right field, sending Kirwer home to give the Purple Eagles a 6-2 lead over the Hawks. Despite a two-run homerun from Monmouth's Tom Jakubowski in the bottom of the fifth, Niagara held onto its lead and came away with the win. Battaglia had a team-high two RBI and Kirwer and Greg Cullen each recorded a team-high two hits. On the mound, Daniel Procopio (5-2) fanned seven batters in 5.0 innings pitched.

Game 2: Monmouth 6, Niagara 5 (11 innings)

Monmouth once again got on the board first in game two; a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and an RBI single in the bottom of the third put the Hawks ahead, 3-0. Niagara made a comeback in the top of the fifth. An RBI single from Gabriele put the Purple Eagles on the board. With bases loaded, Cullen flied out to center field to score Gabriele. Battaglia then flied out to right field to send Blanks home and tie the score, 3-3. In the top of the ninth inning, with bases once again loaded, Battaglia singled to left field, scoring Blanks and Kirwer to give Niagara a 5-3 lead over the Hawks.
Monmouth tied things up, 5-5, in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings. The Hawks held the Purple Eagles off in the tenth and eleventh innings. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eleventh, Matt McCuen walked a batter and the Hawks earned the 6-5 walk-off win.
Battaglia had a team-high three RBI and Battaglia and Philippe Langlois had a team-best two hits each. Starting pitcher Matthew Brash struck out eight batters and allowed three earned runs in 8.0 innings pitched. McCuen (1-3) fanned three and allowed one earned run in 2.1 innings pitched.

The Purple Eagles play a single game with crosstown rival Canisius on Wednesday, April 26 at Sal Maglie Stadium, the site of the 2017 MAAC Baseball Championships, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. at 4:00 p.m.