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NU baseball to battle the Bulls


NIAGARA UNIV. -- The Purple Eagles baseball team will play the Buffalo Bulls for the first time this season in a doubleheader on Tuesday at Amherst Audubon Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The Purple Eagles took two games in a three game series against the conference-leading Fairfield Stags April 28-29. Niagara won the first game in 10 innings by a final score of 6-5 and won Saturday's first game 11-7, which included homeruns from Tanner Kirwer, Peter Battaglia and Wyatt Olson.

Sophomore shortstop Greg Cullen leads the Purple Eagles at the plate. He has a team-best 55 hits, .377 batting average and .507 slugging percentage. Freshman first baseman Battaglia currently leads the team in home runs with three and RBI with 38. Kirwer, a junior outfielder, has a team-high 37 runs scored, 19 doubles and 17 stolen bases. On the mound, redshirt-junior Cody Eckerson (4-2) has struck out 38 batters in 41.0 innings pitched and has an ERA of 1.76. Senior Daniel Procopio (6-2) leads the Niagara pitching staff in strikeouts with 66. Freshman Matthew Brash is undefeated on the mound (5-0) and has pitched a team-high 61.0 innings. With their 10-8 conference record, the Purple Eagles are currently fifth in the MAAC standings.

Junior third baseman Chris Kwitzer leads the Bulls in batting average (.345), slugging percentage (.531) and home runs (4). Vinny Mallaro, a junior outfiedler, has a team-high 45 RBIs and is tied for the team-high in doubles with 10. Redshirt junior Ben Haefner leads the Bulls in hits with 52 this season. On the mound, junior Shawn Dubin (4-2) leads the Bulls with a team-best 50 strikeouts in his 11 starts this season. Freshman Charlie Sobieraski (1-8) also has 11 starts this season with a team-high 58.2 innings pitched. With their 6-9 conference record, the Bulls sit tied for second in the East Division in the MAC standings.

The Purple Eagles will travel to Easton, Pa. for a three-game series with the Lafayette Leopards May 6-7.