NIAGARA UNIV., NY – The Saint Peter's University baseball team was defeated by Niagara University in both games of a doubleheader on Sunday in MAAC play. The Purple Eagles beat the Peacocks, 7-0 in the first game and 8-1 in contest number two. The Peacocks overall record drops to 0-9 on the season and 0-3 in the MAAC.
"Niagara's pitching was great today and pretty much shut down our offense," said head coach Danny Ramirez. "With the exception of Mike Ionta, Jose Martinez and Anthony Ramos, we as a team have struggled with consistency at the plate. We need to cut down on the strikeouts and have more consistent approaches at the plate in order to jump-start our offense. The pitchers are throwing well but our defense needs to do a better job of making the routine plays behind them which at times extend innings for the opposing teams, leads to extra runs, and forces our pitchers to have to throw extra pitches."
Niagara used scoring spurts in the third and fifth innings to earn a 7-0 shutout victory over the Peacocks in a seven inning game. In the bottom of the third inning, the Purple Eagles scored four runs, led by a two-run homer from Peter Battaglia and a solo homerun by Joel Brophy. In the fifth, the Purple Eagles added three runs to the lead.
Saint Peter's starting right handed pitcher, Anthony Assante (Brick, NJ/Brick Memorial) (0-3) pitched 5.0 innings, suffering his third loss of the season after giving up seven earned runs on eight allowed hits. Assante struck out two batters in the contest and outside of the two big innings in the third and fifth, only surrendered one hit and even retired the side in the fourth inning.
Offensively, the Peacocks earned five hits in the losing effort led by Jose Martinez (Browns Mills, NJ/Remberton Township (Hartford CC)) who went 2-for-3 on the day with two singles. The Peacocks left five total base runners on, in the game.
The Peacocks struck first in the second game after not scoring a run in the first. In the top of the first inning, Mike Ionta (Westfield, NJ/Westfield) drove in the Peacocks lone run with a single to left field that brought Cole Robbins (Lyndhurst, NJ/Saint Mary) in from third base.
Niagara answered in the bottom half of the inning, scoring the game-tying run on a fielding error by the Peacocks. The Purple Eagles would add three more runs to the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, breaking the tie and taking a 4-1 advantage. Niagara then added a run in the fifth off of a sacrifice bunt, and three more runs in the sixth.
Michael Ammerman (Howell, NJ/Howell (Ocean Community College)) (0-1) received the loss for the Peacocks after 4.0 innings of work where he struck out seven of the 23 batters that he faced but gave up three earned runs with five runs total after two were scored on errors.
Seven Peacocks batters picked up a hit in the contest with Robbins leading the way on the day with a 2-for-4 performance and the lone run scored on the day for Saint Peter's. In the field, the Peacocks committed three errors, which cost the team two runs in the second contest.
Saint Peter's baseball will be back in action on Tuesday, April 4 when they welcome No. 5 nationally ranked St. John's to Jaroschak Field for a 3:00pm start.