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NIAGARA BASEBALL CLINCHES MAAC PLAYOFF SPOT

The Niagara baseball team clinched its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference playoff berth since 1997 Saturday by finishing off one blowout of Canisius and engineering another. The Purple Eagles beat the Golden Griffins, 17-2 and 13-2.

Niagara is 25-23 (15-10 MAAC), to match its best single season win total from 1997. The MAAC Tournament is Thursday through Saturday at Fishkill. The Eagles can clinch third place in the MAAC with a win against Canisius (4-36-1, 3-21) at 5 p.m. today at the Demske Sports Complex.

The first game was the completion of a game Niagara led, 12-2, in the bottom of the second when it was suspended Thursday. Mike Radanovic pitched 7 2/3 innings of no-hit ball Saturday to get the win. Vince Ircandia homered in both games while Reed Eastley went 7 for 9 with three RBIs and six runs scored in the doubleheader.

In the opening round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III World Series in Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, Erie Community College (32-14) had an eighth-inning rally cut short with a double play as it lost to Gloucester (N.J.) Community College, 5-4. Jim Spano (Williamsville South) went 3 for 5 with a double.

ECC plays today at noon in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament against the loser of Saturday's late game between Germantown (Md.) and Quinsigamond (Mass.) CC.

TRACK & FIELD: The University at Buffalo men took seventh while the women were ninth at the Mid-American Conference championships at Mount Pleasant, Mich. The top men's performance was a second-place finish (3:12.66) by the 1,600 relay behind Bryan Weinstein, Tim Giagios, Tom Abbey and Joe Clark.

Beverly Weyer had UB's top finish on the women's side, taking fifth in the discus at 141 feet, 5 inches. Christina Keck recorded a school-record run in the 1,500 with her eighth-place finish of 4:34.59.

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