The Stags hosted Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival Niagara Purple Eagles for a weekend series at Alumni Diamond. The first two games took place on Saturday, April 16 as part of a doubleheader. Fairfield won the first outing with a final score of 3-2 and followed up with a victory in the second game, 9-3.

Fairfield looked for the series sweep on Sunday, April 17 when they sent out Kyle Dube ‘17 to the mound. After eight scoreless innings, the Stags finally broke through to score four to edge Niagara 4-2. The victory means that the Stags have now won seven straight MAAC games, the longest streak since 1997.

Dube pitched seven solid innings for Fairfield, only allowing one earned run while striking out 10 Niagara batters along the way. “Dube was a bulldog today,” said head coach Bill Currier. “He really battled and if guys got on base, he pitched harder and kept them there. He did a great job, holding them right in that game.”

Niagara struck first in the fifth inning when Greg Cullen tripled to right center to bring home Niagara’s first run. The Purple Eagles struggled to get a runner home for the rest of the game, as they scored only one more run coming into the ninth inning.

Scoreless through seven innings of play, Fairfield’s offense finally woke up to score four runs in the inning. Sophomore Kevin Radziewicz got things started with a leadoff single. Then, Mac Crispino ‘17 followed up by laying down a bunt that fell in a perfect spot for the Stags as Crispino reached first base without a throw.

On the play, Radziewicz moved to second base giving Fairfield an opportunity to drive in their first run. Freshman Jake Gethings laid down a bunt of his own and Niagara decided to get the lead runner out at third, but committed an error on the throw, which allowed Fairfield to come home easily to put them on the board.

Following another error by Niagara, the Stags were able to take the lead with a one-run advantage with two outs in the eighth inning. “We took advantage, we were just bunting to move people up and they were good bunts, but they [Niagara] threw them around a little bit which cost them,” says Currier.

Having the lead in hand, Fairfield looked to add on to their lead. With two runners on base and two outs, Michael Conti ‘17 came up to bat with an opportunity to give Fairfield the insurance runs it needed.

”That was a great win for the team; back-to-back weekends sweeping in the conference. We just want to keep this going and take that into next weekend,” said Conti.

Conti came through when Fairfield needed him most as he hit a single right up the middle to push in two more runs for Fairfield and give them a 4-1 advantage. “It’s a tough field to play in on, to play in. When you have an infield in it’s a great opportunity for the hitter, just hitting it in the holes is going to scoot right through and he hit it right up the middle,” said Currier.

For the second consecutive appearance, Aaron Howell ‘16 pitched the final two innings of the game, only allowing one run to seal the deal for the Stags and give them the 4-2 victory.

When asked what the team must do to continue their hot play, Currier said, “We just got to keep pitching well, pitching well keeps us in it.” Fairfield looks to keep the momentum in their next home game on Tuesday, April 26 when they take on in-state rival, Sacred Heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.