Niagara splits doubleheader with Rider

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NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – After shutting out Rider in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, the Purple Eagles fell to the Broncs in game two.

“With us this year, it has come down to pitching and defense,” said head coach Rob McCoy. “Today was no different. When we compete on the mound every pitch and make the routine plays we generally end up with a favorable outcome. In the first game we did that; in the second game, we didn’t. Tomorrow we will look to refocus and compete aggressively for each pitch.”

Game 1: Niagara 3, Rider 0

The Purple Eagles got on the board quickly in game one. In the bottom of the first inning, with Julian Gallup and Greg Cullen already on base, Christian Vangeison grounded out to pitcher, sending home Gallup to give Niagara a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Owen Dziados grounded out to second base to score Geoff Seto and earn an RBI. Niagara scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth; Taylor Hackett flied out to second, scoring Tanner Kirwer, who was pinch running for Michael Fuhrman.

Cody Eckerson (4-2) held the Broncs hitless through the first six innings, and allowed only one hit in the seventh inning. Eckerson struck out nine batters in his 7.0 innings pitched. Matt McCuen pitched the final 2.0 innings and earned the save.

Game 2: Niagara 1, Rider 9

Rider came out strong in game two and had a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning. With Cullen, who had a team-high two hits, and Fuhrman on base, Vangeison smacked a single to right field, scoring Cullen and earning an RBI.

The Purple Eagles play the final game in their season series with Rider at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24.

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