JERSEY CITY, N.J.- After dropping the front end of Saturday's doubleheader against Niagara University by a score of 6-5, the Peacocks came back to claim an 11-7 win in the nightcap to open their first home Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) series wit a split.
The Peacocks now sit at 11-18, 5-3 MAAC on the year, while Niagara is 11-22, 6-5 MAAC.
Seven different Peacocks recorded a multi-hit game on the afternoon, with three occuring in game one and four in game two.
Senior Matt Speckmann (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) finished the day going 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
In the first game, Speckmann went a perfect 2-for-2 after leading off the game with a solo shot down the right field line to give the Peacocks an early 1-0 advantage. The hosts were able to tack on two more markers to extend their lead to 3-0 after scoring a pair of runs in the fourth off back-to-back RBI singles by Robert Moore (Ridge, N.Y./Longwood High School) and James Smith (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn).
Two innings later, the Purple Eagles finally managed to get on the board and scored three of their own to even up the game at 3-3, but the Peacocks regained their advantage in the bottom of the frame on a sacrifice fly by Brian Schroeder (Iselin, N.J./JFK-Iselin). Nicholas Henriquez (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) and Chris Grimes (Iselin, N.J./JFK-Iselin) opened up the inning by each getting on base after getting hit by a pitch. A bunt single by Moore loaded the bases for Schroeder who brought home Henriquez to put the hosts in front 4-3.
That would be the last lead of the game for Saint Peter's however, as Niagara added on three runs in the seventh on three hits and a Peacock error. Smith cut the deficit to one in the seventh, bringing home pinch runner Ariel Ramirez (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Babeque) with a base hit to left center, but the Peacocks' scoring threat ended there.
Smith finished 2-for-4 while driving in three runs in the loss, while Moore went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Zack Hopf (Woodbridge, N.J./Woodbridge) was credited with the loss after giving up five runs on nine hits and three walks. He struck out four batters.
Saint Peter's started off the second game similarly to the first; getting on the board early after a five-run first inning. The Peacocks did all their damage in the opening frame with two outs, after Smith was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the first run of the contest. A single to right field by Schroeder scored Henriquez and Moore (3-0), who each singled on earlier in the stanza. Vincent Maietta's (Franklin Square, N.J./St. Mary's) run scoring two base-hit made it a 4-0 game, and Jon Kristoffersen (Jefferson, N.J./Jefferson Township High School) was also hit by a pitch to reload the bases. Speckmann would also be hit to force in Schroeder before the Purple Eagles closed out the inning (5-0).
Niagara again proved their ability to fight back however, tagging starter Mathew Yuhas (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Boro) for three runs in the third to come within two. The Peacocks soon formed another five run inning in the bottom of the frame to regain separation. Speckmann delivered a big two-RBI single in the inning, with a third run scoring on a Purple Eagle error on the play. Matt Mancini (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) and Grimes also drove in a run in the inning.
The Purple Eagles threatened to complete another come-back scoring four runs in the fifth and sixth combined, but the Peacocks were able to tack on a single run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Smith and held on to garner the win.
Mancini, Henriquez, Grimes, Smith and Schroeder each finished with two hits in the win. Smith and Schroeder each drove in two runs while Speckmann drove in three. Mancini, Henriquez, Smith and Schroeder also scored two runs a piece.
Yuhas recorded his team-leading fifth win for Saint Peter's after pitching the first six innings. Freshman John Leiter (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) pitched a scoreless seventh and gave up just one hit to conclude the contest.
Saint Peter's was hit by a pitch a total of 11 times between both contests.
Ryan McCauley led the Purple Eagles on the afternoon going a combined 4-for-7 with four runs scored.
The Peacocks will host Niagara tomorrow at 12pm for the rubber game of the series at Jaroschak Field.