Niagara University's postseason fate will come down to the final game of the regular season.
The Purple Eagles split a doubleheader with visiting Manhattan on Thursday at Bobo Field, winning 9-3 before falling 6-5 in extras. Two wins would've clinched the final spot in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.
Owen Dziados and Lewiston native Michael Gabriele led the way with three hits apiece in the opener, while Dziados had a team-high four RBIs. Trevor McCauley drove in three, Julian Gallup swiped two bags and Cody Eckerson (4-5) struck out five in 5 2/3 innings. Tyler Howard picked up his second save, striking out two over the final 3 1/3 innings.
Manhattan jumped ahead 5-2 in the late game, which was only scheduled to go seven innings. Benny Serrano (Kenmore West) drove in three for NU with a pair of singles, including a two-RBI knock to tie things at 5 in the bottom of the sixth.
The Jaspers (25-27, 13-10) scored the winner on a passed ball in the top of the eighth.
Niagara (23-25, 12-11) hosts the rubber match of the three-game series at noon Saturday. The winner will clinch the final postseason berth.
— Staff reports