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Niagara University beats baseball to split four-game series

March 18, 2018
<p>Sophomore pitcher Mike Mokma (20) throws a pitch during the game against Niagara on March 18, 2018 at McLane Baseball Stadium. The Spartans fell to the Purple Eagles, 12-10. (C.J. Weiss | The State News)</p>

Sophomore pitcher Mike Mokma (20) throws a pitch during the game against Niagara on March 18, 2018 at McLane Baseball Stadium. The Spartans fell to the Purple Eagles, 12-10. (C.J. Weiss | The State News)

Niagara University beat baseball in the last of their four game series, 12-10, ending the series with a 2--2 split.

Sophomore starting pitcher Mike Mokma didn’t allow any runs in the first two innings maintaining the Spartans' lead with two runs at the bottom of the second. Senior Zack McGuire hit a home run deep center field giving the spartans a comfortable lead into the the third inning. 

MSU wasted no time in the bottom of third with Mokma catching an out ball completing a double play with second baseman and MSU junior Royce Ando. 

Looking to even the score, Niagara senior Trevor McCauley ran the bases for Niagara’s first run of the game. Continuing the streak, Niagara senior Wyatt Olson hit it through the middle of the infield allowing him to make it to second base and allowing junior Greg Cullen to make it home tying the game 2-2 at the top of the fourth.

Immediately after, a junior Royce Ando hit allowed him to gradually make his way to third base. Completing the play, freshman Zach Iverson hit a ground ball into right field creating an opportunity for Ando to take home base giving the Spartans one run over the Purple Eagles with a score of 3-2. 

McCauley kept the stakes high, hitting a home run into right field allowing 2 runs at the top the fifth with Eagles' outfielder Julian Gallup taking home from third. The Eagles were leading the  Spartans 4-3 at the top of the fifth. 

Niagara’s lead didn’t last long as outfielder Bryce Kelley hit deep left field allowing him to take second base with 1 out at the bottom of the fifth. Shortly after junior outfielder Dan Chmielewski hit a ground ball to left field scoring Kelley to tie it up 4-4 at the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore infielderJustin Antoncic scored a second run for the Spartans. MSU leads the Eagles 5-4 at the bottom of the fifth.

Going into the sixth inning, Niagara’s Greg Cullen flies by home base, ending the spartans short lived lead and tying it up 5-5. The Eagles continue scoring into the seventh inning with runs from McCauley and Michael Gabriele. With an additional run in the eighth Niagara lead the spartans 8-5.

In the ninth two Niagara players, Owen Dziados and Wyatt Olson both made it to home base giving Niagara two runs with 1 out at the top of the ninth. With those runs the Purple Eagles headed into the double digits with a score of 7-10 in Niagara’s favor. The Eagle’s hot streak didn’t slow with them gaining two additional runs before ending the top of the ninth inning. 

Trying their best to catch up, the Spartans scored a run early on in the bottom of the ninth, they kept the momentum going but ended the game with a score of 12-10.

Head coach Jake Boss Jr. expressed his disappointment in a lack of accountability amongst players.

“We didn’t pitch it well today and we had too many guys that didn’t take accountability for what happened today," Boss Jr. said. "It’s my job as a head coach to help these guys be accountable but we need to be a lot better.”

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