Niagara University Purple Eagles

04/16/2014, 6:15pm EDT
By Niagara University Purple Eagles; Photos By Niagara University
“As a team we are looking to do big things this year. We have a young but talented team. Our pitching staff is deep and the defense is much improved. We had a great fall and the guys are playing with a ton of confidence.” Rob McCoy, Head Coach

 

niagara-slideshow_largeThe Niagara Purple Eagles head into the 2014 season looking to take advantage of a stronger starting rotation.

This season Niagara is led by junior Jordan Schwartz who was named to College Sports Madness’ Preseason All-MAAC Second Team. The righty will lead starting rotation and look to improve on his 2-7 record last season. Drew Fittry is back after an injury ended his 2013 season after just three starts and Liam Stroud joins the rotation as a right-handed freshman.

Schwartz also finished second on the team last season with a .299 batting average and was also able to add five doubles and 16 RBIs on his way to a 2013 All-MAAC Second Team nomination.

It will be the trio of Thomas Rodrigues, Joel Klock, and Taylor Hackett will set the tone at the plate. Rodrigues is coming off a summer where he won Canada’s Western Major Baseball League batting title with the Okotoks Dawgs. He hit .281 with seven doubles and 19 RBIs last year for Niagara. Klock collected a team-high four triples last season. Hackett enters the season as a redshirt-freshman.

Niagara University is coming off of a 16-38 season in 2013. Niagara topped nationally ranked Pittsburgh 7-5 in last season’s Panther Classic. Niagara also put together an impressive streak from late March into mid-April which saw it go 8-3 in an 11-game span.

Player Spotlight

Jordan Schwartz leads the Purple Eagles on the mound and at the dish. His 2013 season was highlighted by a seven-inning, complete game shutout of the Manhattan Jaspers. He gave up six hits and recorded three strikeouts in the contest. At the plate he finished the 2013 season second on the team with a .298 batting average. He also recorded five doubles, a triple, and 16 RBIs.
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