NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
BUFFALO -- The Purple Eagles fell to crosstown rival Canisius, 7-6, in 13 innings on Friday to close out the regular season. Niagara, who moved to 12-12 in MAAC play, is still in contention for a playoff spot.
Final Score: Canisius 7, Niagara 6 (13 innings)
Game Leaders: Joel Brophy (2 RBI), Trevor McCauley (3 Hits, 2 Doubles)
Records: Canisius (33-20, 16-8 MAAC), Niagara (24-24, 12-12 MAAC)
Location: Demske Sports Complex – Buffalo, N.Y.
- Canisius got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
- The Purple Eagles picked up momentum on offense in the top of the fourth. McCauley doubled down the right field line, scoring Greg Cullen. Owen Dziados reached base on a fielding error by the Griffs' second baseman, scoring Battaglia. Brophy reached base on a fielder's choice, sending home McCauley and an RBI single from Nick Bernick put NU in the lead, 4-1.
- In the bottom of the fourth, Canisius halved Niagara's lead, 4-2, but the Purple Eagles continued to perform strong on offense in the top of the fifth. Wyatt Olson singled to right field, scoring McCauley. An RBI single from Brophy put the Purple Eagles up on the Griffs, 6-2.
- Canisius gained momentum late in the game, scoring once in the bottom of the sixth and three times in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score, 6-6.
- The eighth and ninth innings were a defensive battle between both teams, forcing the game into extra innings. In the bottom of the 13th inning Canisius, who has already secured a spot in the MAAC tournament, scored to secure its Battle of the Bridge victory.
Inside the Numbers
- Brophy led the Purple Eagles with two RBI and McCauley had a team-high three hits and two doubles.
- Starter Nate Mascellino fanned five in 5.0 innings pitched and Matthew Brash, who relieved Mascellino, also struck out five batters. Brash pitched 6.1 innings.
- Matt McCuen (2-5) took the loss for the Purple Eagles. He struck out one batter and allowed one earned run in 1.0 inning pitched.
- There is a potential for a three-way tie between Rider, Niagara and Manhattan. In the case of a three-way tie, Niagara would be eliminated from playoff contention because Manhattan and Rider would win the head-to-head tiebreaker; both teams won the season series with the Purple Eagles.
- If Saint Peter's defeats Manhattan on Saturday, May 20, there would be a two-way tie between Niagara and Rider. Manhattan would fall to 11-13 and both the Purple Eagles and the Broncs would make the tournament.
- The Purple Eagles will find out their playoff fate after the Manhattan-Saint Peter's game on Saturday, May 20. The 2017 MAAC Baseball Championships will be held from May 24-27 at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls, N.Y.