NIAGARA UNIVERSITY – Senior catcher Zachary Passerelle hit a solo home run to lead off the 10th inning, which lifted the Marist baseball team to a 6-5 victory at Niagara in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game on Sunday.
Passerelle finished the day 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Senior shortstop Nick McQuail went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Eight different Red Foxes had hits, six scored runs and five drove in runs. Marist outhit Niagara, 9-6.
Niagara got on the scoreboard first with a run in its first at-bat. The Purple Eagles held a 1-0 lead until the fourth, until the Red Foxes scored one run in each of the next five innings.
Passerelle’s sacrifice fly tied the game in the fourth, and Marist took the lead in the fifth on an RBI single by freshman designated hitter Tyler Kirkpatrick. Sophomore second baseman Joey Aiola had an RBI single in the sixth to put Marist up 3-1.
Niagara scored a run in the sixth, but Marist went up 4-2 in the seventh on an RBI single by junior first baseman Steve Laurino. However, the Purple Eagles took a 5-4 lead in the bottom half of the inning on a three-run homer by designated hitter Pavel Chavez-Rusov. Marist responded in the eighth with a two-out rally, and tied the game on an RBI single by freshman third baseman Ben Moller.
Freshman right-hander Sean Keenan picked up the win with 3.2 innings of relief, and is now 4-1. Freshman right-hander Ryan Thomas used just nine pitches to toss a scoreless 10th for his seventh save. Senior left-hander Jordan Eich allowed just three hits and two runs, one of which was unearned, in the first 5.1 innings.
For Niagara, Kevin Lucas (1-1), who went the final three innings, took the loss in relief. Chavez-Rusov and right fielder Anthony Firenzi each had two hits.
Marist improved to 13-30 overall and 6-12 in MAAC play; Niagara fell to 15-25 overall and 8-11 in the MAAC.
Marist returns to action next week with a three-game MAAC series against Saint Peter’s to close out its home schedule. The Red Foxes and Peacocks will play a doubleheader on Saturday, followed by a single game on Sunday. First pitch on both days is scheduled for noon.