LEWISTON — Notre Dame High School graduate and future Batavia Muckdogs hurler Tyler Prospero helped the Niagara Purple Eagles improve to 7-4 in the MAAC as he picked up his first career NCAA Division I victory over the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Saturday afternoon.
With the bases loaded with Bobcats in the top of the seventh, Prospero faced just one batter and induced a ground out, which ended the inning and allowed Niagara to walk it off in the bottom half of the frame. Peter Battaglia provided the game-winning knock for the Purple Eagles on a sacrifice fly to shortstop, which scored Brady Desjardins. The Eagles won the game, 4-3.
“To be trusted in a game-on-the-line situation and to come through for my teammates, it was a memorable moment for sure,” said Prospero. “The feeling was unreal. I love high-pressure situations. It’s what makes baseball so much fun.”
Prospero struggled through his first two appearances of the season, allowing six hits and five runs through 2 2/3 third innings, but he views his most recent appearance as something that can build his confidence as he continues to find his way at the Div. I level.
“Throughout the course of a long season, you can’t give in to the highs and lows,” said Prospero. “I’m confident this is a turning point that will allow me to dominate at the highest level.”
In just a couple of months, Prospero will head back to his hometown to play for the Batavia Muckdogs in the PGCBL. It’s an experience he’s looking forward to, and he hopes his experiences at Niagara will prepare him for the competition he’ll face this summer.
“It’s going to benefit me immensely because it’s allowed me to adapt and compete against very high-level competition,” added Prospero. “It’s going to be amazing playing for my hometown in front of all my family and friends. The PGCBL has potential to be a top-three league in the country.”
The PGCBL season begins on June 1 and will feature 50 games in 46 days. Niagara has 20 regular season games remaining until the MAAC Championships on May 21.