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Niagara's Cullen named to All-America second team; Canisius pair earn third-team honors

Niagara University junior shortstop Greg Cullen, the nation's leading hitter during the regular season, has been named a second-team All-American by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Cullen, a native of Penfield, batted .458, finishing well ahead of the nation's No. 2 hitter, Andrew Moritz of North Carolina-Greesboro at .428. He was also second in on-base percentage at .556.

Cullen led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in hits (81) and slugging percentage (.655), was second in runs, tied for second in triples, third in doubles and tied for fourth in steals. He was named the conference's player of the year.

This is the second straight season Niagara has placed a player on a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper All-American team. Matthew Brash was honored last year.

Cullen also has been named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy presented to college baseball's top player. The finalists will be announced on June 8 and the winner on June 17.

Canisius senior pitcher J.P. Stevenson and senior first baseman Liam Wilson also were honored as third-team All-Americans. They are the first to earn such distinction since Brett Siddall in 2015.

Stevenson, the MAAC Pitcher of the Year and the MAAC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, led the conference in wins (10), innings (95.2) and strikeouts (92). The 6-foot-1 southpaw became the program's career leader in strikeouts (266) and ranks second all-time in wins (28).

Wilson, who earned All-MAAC first team for the second year in a row, led the Griffs in batting average (.360), runs scored (52), hits (77), doubles (27), total bases (137) and slugging percentage (.640).

They will be in action with the rest of their Canisius teammates at 8 p.m. Friday night in the NCAA Tournament when the Griffs (35-20) face No. 14 Minnesota (41-13) at U.S. Bank Stadium in the Minneapolis Regional. Canisius enters the clash on an eight-game winning streak, while the Gophers have won nine straight.

UB news and notes

-- UB graduate Cassie Oursler (Grand Island) has signed to play professional basketball in Spain. She will play for Cadi La Seu, which is located in La Seu D'Urgell.

The team is plays in the first-tier level of the women's professional league in Spain.

Oursler, a 6-foot-3 center, helped the Bulls reach the Sweet 16. She averaged 12.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while shooting 49.7 percent from the floor. She hit a team best 82.1 percent of her free throws.

She is the second UB women's player to ink a professional contract. Point guard Stephanie Reid signed to play in home country of Australia earlier this spring.

-- For the first time, UB men's tennis had a doubles team finish the season nationally ranked. The team of Vidit Vaghela and Petr Vodak, both seniors, end the year ranked 86th in the final Oracle/ITA Division I rankings. They went 15-4 on the season, including 12-4 at first doubles.

 

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