Courtesy: Fairfield University

Errors Spoil Stags' Dramatic Comeback

Courtesy: Fairfield University
April 28, 2017

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – The momentum flow of this game had it's peaks and it's valleys. Unfortunately for the Stags, in the end it came crashing down. After scoring four runs in the top of the ninth to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead, the Fairfield University baseball team saw Niagara score the tying run in the ninth and the winning run in the tenth, helped out by an error in each frame as the Stags saw their six-game MAAC winning streak come to an end with a 6-5 loss at Niagara.

The Stags (23-16, 10-3 MAAC) almost got out of another jam in the tenth as the Purple Eagles (19-17, 9-7 MAAC) had the bases loaded with nobody out. Ian Halpin got the strikeout he needed to record the first out of the inning and then induced a potential double play, but the play didn't go quite fast enough as Peter Battaglia scored the game-winning run as Joel Brophy reached on a fielder's choice.

Fairfield trailed 4-1 entering the ninth when they mounted their comeback. With the bases loaded, Jack Gethings drove home a pair of runs to cut the deficit to 4-3. Drew Arciuolo tied the game with his second RBI single of the contest and Kevin Radziewicz completed the comeback with a fielder's choice.

Niagara, however, would find the game-tying run in the ninth after an error put the leadoff man on first. He would eventually reach third with two outs and then was driven home by an infield single by Tanner Kirwer.

That was not the only time a fielding miscue hurt the Stags. Niagara tacked on two runs in the seventh inning without a ball leaving the infield.

Already with a 2-1 lead in the seventh, they took advantage of three Fairfield errors and a hit by pitch with the bases load to grab the 4-1 advantage. Niagara tallied only one hit in that frame, coming with a leadoff bunt by Trevor McCauley down the third base line. The Stags struggled with the next four batters, with back-to-back errors forcing the bases loaded before Joe Brophy was hit by a pitch, forcing in the third run of the game for the Purple Eagles. Fairfield would commit another miscue in the very next batter, allowing the fourth run to score.

Signore settled down to get the next two batters out with a strikeout and fielder's choice before Mike Bonaiuto got the final out with a fly ball to right.

The Stags, who usually have had success when they score first (Fairfield now holds a 16-5 record in those games), were the first team on the board when Arciuolo singled home Gethings in the third.

John Signore almost kept that slim lead to hold, allowing six hits in his 6.2 innings of work. However, two of those hits came in the fourth when cleanup hitter Battaglia launched a two-run shot, scoring Greg Cullen, who had tripled in the previous at-bat.

Arciuolo led the Stags with three hits and reached base four times overall, drawing a walk previously in the contest. Troy Scocca and Gethings also recorded a multi-hit games with a pair of base knocks each.

The Stags will now need to sweep the Purple Eagles in a doubleheader tomorrow to keep their series winning streak alive. The two teams begin play tomorrow at noon.

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