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Moments from the 2017-18 Season: Greg Cullen's breakout year for Niagara baseball

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Cullen
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Niagara baseball shortstop Greg Cullen's 2018 season started off with an improbable feat; Cullen went 6-for-6 at the plate in NU's staggering 15-2 season-opening victory against Longwood University. But what seemed improbable at the start of the season became an exciting expectation by the season's end; Cullen would go perfect at the plate five more times in 2018.

Overall, Cullen's 2018 season was nothing short of remarkable. He finished the season as the nation's leader in both batting average (.458) and on-base percentage (.556). Cullen led the Purple Eagles and the MAAC in hits (81) and slugging percentage (.655) and he led NU in runs scored (51), doubles (17) and triples (three). He was second in the conference in runs scored and was tied for second-most triples, third-most doubles and fourth-most stolen bases (13).

At the conclusion of the regular season, Cullen was named the MAAC Player of the Year, only the fourth Purple Eagle in program history to earn that honor and the first since 2003 (Josh McCurdy). Cullen was also an All-MAAC First Team selection, but the honors didn't stop there.

Cullen was named to the Collegiate Baseball All-America Second Team, the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-America First Team, The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-America Second Team and the College Sports Madness All-America Fourth Team. Cullen was the only MAAC player represented on College Sports Madness' All-America teams. In addition, he was selected to the ABCA/Rawlings Northeast All-Region First Team and was named the NCBWA District 2 Player of the Year.

Cullen earned himself multiple entries into the Niagara baseball record book following his impressive season and three-year career. His 38 walks in 2018 are the most in a single season in program history. His 2018 season also ranked in batting average (second), hits (second), runs (fourth) and doubles (fifth). Cullen's 208 career hits are the second-most in program history. He is third in career batting average (.364) and singles (155) and is fourth in walks (77).

Throughout the season, Cullen earned national attention, attracting scouts from almost every single Major League Baseball (MLB) team and on June 6, Cullen's major league dreams came to fruition as he was selected in the 15th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves. Cullen is currently playing for the Danville Braves, Atlanta's rookie ball squad. He has played in 46 games and has 51 hits, 26 runs, 27 RBIs and is batting .297 with a .394 on-base percentage. Cullen's .297 average is within the top-20 of his league.

While Cullen's presence will be sorely missed on Monteagle Ridge, the excitement to watch his career continue to develop is palpable and his impact on both the Purple Eagles baseball program and the Niagara community is one that will not soon be forgotten.