Rider's Final Home Stand This Weekend
Final 4 Before MAAC Tournament
The Rider baseball team will close out the regular season with four home games this weekend, hosting Longwood for a four-game series Friday and Saturday.
Rider (20-29, 13-11 MAAC) clinched a playoff berth in the four-team 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament, May 23-27 at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY, hosted by Siena.
The Broncs have won eight of their last 11 games, including six MAAC wins in the last nine conference games.
Rider won six of the eight MAAC series to qualify for the conference championship for the fifth consecutive year and 10th time in the 15 years in the MAAC.
Rider collected its 20th victory of the season on Sunday, the 20th consecutive 20-win season for the Broncs.
The Broncs are 8-8 on the Sonny Pittaro field this spring and will look to improve on that with four home games this weekend.
The Longwood Lancers (24-20) defeated James Madison 4-1 on Tuesday in their final home game and have won nine of their last 13 games. Longwood's season ends at Rider before joining the Big South Conference on June 1.
Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) is the designated hitter and fourth outfielder and leads Rider with a .342 batting average, collecting 51 hits in just 38 games started. Last weekend against Iona Lindsay helped Rider clinch the MAAC playoff berth by batting .462 in the series with six hits, four RBI and three runs scored.
This season Lindsay batted .375 against MAAC pitchers.
Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) has played an outstanding third base this season with 103 assists and has collected 52 hits, including a team-high 12 doubles.
Cotten has been considered the best defensive outfielder in the MAAC for some time now and is batting .325 with 55 hits. At Iona last weekend Cotten became the 10th Bronc to ever compile 200 career hits and enters his final four home games with 203 hits, eighth most ever at Rider. Cotten's 139 career runs scored is ninth most ever at Rider.
Sophomore Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie) picked up his fifth win in his last six starts over the weekend and will try to improve on his 6-3 record with one more start in the regular season, against Longwood.
Murphy is among the MAAC leaders in wins, strikeouts (54), innings pitched (85) and earned run average (2.85).
Junior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.) and freshman Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge) have combined for an 8-8 record and 130 innings pitched, as well as 98 strikeouts, and will each seek a fifth win of the season against Longwood.
Rider and Longwood have met seven times since the series began in 2006 with the Lancers winning four. The last time these two teams met was 2010 when Rider won three of the four games played at Longwood in Farmville, Virginia.
A pair of 12 noon doubleheaders Friday and Saturday to close out the home season with four games and to say goodbye to four graduating seniors.