Niagara Gazette

Niagara U.

May 19, 2010

Niagara baseball ‘not afraid’ to finish strong

NIAGARA FALLS — A year ago, the talk was about magic numbers, “if we win,” and hoping for some help.

But help never came, there were no wins, and there was no magic.

Losing its final three games and missing last year’s conference playoffs through a tiebreaker has hardened the Niagara University baseball team. So did a midseason swoon that put the Purple Eagles in a position where they may need to end the regular season on a six-game winning streak to make the postseason.

“It’s our turn to leave someone else with a bitter taste in their mouth,” third baseman Trevor Rutkowski said Wednesday. “We have to step up and be man enough to realize we have to win to get in, and not count on other teams to lose.”

Niagara begins a three-game series against rival Canisius with a high noon doubleheader today at Sal Maglie Stadium. The series — and the regular season — concludes with a nine-inning game Friday.

The Purple Eagles are currently in a three-way tie with Rider and Siena for the fourth and final spot in next week’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. Holding head-to-head tiebreakers with both teams, they control their own destiny.

Nonetheless, Niagara may need to win all three games to extend its season because Rider finishes up with a three-game series against an Iona team that is 3-18 in MAAC play.

Canisius, which mercilessly ended Niagara’s season last year with a sweep at Demske Sports Complex, and won a wild 18-17 non-conference matchup in Buffalo two weeks ago, has already wrapped up the MAAC regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the championship tournament.

Midway through their April 17 home-opening doubleheader, Niagara was 8-2 in MAAC play and in sole possession of second place in the standings. It then lost eight of its next nine conference games.

Before last weekend’s series with Saint Peter’s, coach Rob McCoy told the Purple Eagles they were now in a single-elimination playoff. He then showed a slideshow of photos highlighting the team’s best moments of the season, set to the tune of Eminem’s new single, “I’m Not Afraid.”

“I can guarantee one thing,” McCoy said Wednesday. “The team that I put on the field this week is going to be as determined, as motivated, and as confident as any team that has played here in a while.”

Contact reporter Jonah Bronstein at 282-2311, ext. 2258.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Niagara U.
  • Niagara shuts out Canisius

    Paul Zanette had a goal and assist while goaltender Chris Noonan made 29 saves to propel the Niagara University men’s hockey team to a critical 3-0 victory over Canisius at the Buffalo State College Sports Complex.

    February 17, 2011

  • Situation getting worse for Niagara basketball team

    Niagara sank into last place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 51-49 loss at Manhattan, which came into the game on a 15-game losing streak Monday. And that was hardly the most ominous news to come out of the lost weekend, which also included Saturday’s setback at Saint Peter’s.

    January 17, 2011

  • 110107 NU-Rider.jpg Niagara falls hard in big game

    With Calvin Murphy being honored at halftime and ESPNU showing the game nationwide, the Purple Eagles missed more than twice as many shots as they made and lost 82-65 to visiting Metro Atlantic Athletic foe Rider before a crowd of 1,275.

    January 8, 2011 1 Photo

  • 110107 Calvin Murphy 2.jpg A legend holds court at NU

    Calvin Murphy adds to his legend in return

    January 7, 2011 3 Photos

  • Calvin Murphy excited to come back to Niagara

    Murphy is passionate about showing his loyalty to Niagara because the university has done the same for him over the years.

    January 6, 2011

  • Niagara loses by 45 at Drexel

    The Niagara men’s basketball team suffered through its most lopsided loss in over a decade on its worst offensive night in almost a century.

    December 28, 2010

  • 101203 NU Hockey 2.jpg Niagara making impression in Atlantic Hockey

    As second semester approaches, Purple Eagles have rebounded after down year

    December 27, 2010 1 Photo

  • Purple Eagles encouraged to follow the leader

    Having lost seven of eight games for just the second time in his 12 years at Niagara, coach Joe Mihalich is concerned that his roster of mostly freshmen and sophomores is not responding to the leadership being provided by his lone senior.

    December 27, 2010

  • Dobrich pursues his passion coaching the Purple Eagles

    Luke Dobrich, 32, is in his eighth season as a men’s basketball assistant coach at Niagara, and his first as the senior member of head coach Joe Mihalich’s staff.

    December 22, 2010

  • Nelson’s basket lifts NU past Bowling Green

    Anthony Nelson’s basket with just a second left on the shot clock proved the game’s winning play as the Purple Eagles evened their record at 2-2 with a 65-61 victory over Bowling Green on Friday. 

    November 26, 2010

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page