College Baseball-MAAC Tournament
Manhattan College 6, Rider University 5
TROY, NY- The 2012 Rider baseball season came to an end Saturday with a loss to Manhattan in the elimination game of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament, hosted by Siena College at Joe Bruno Stadium.
"We certainly didn't embarrass ourselves up here," said Rider head coach Barry Davis. "We were in the ball games and they knew we were here. We competed well. I'm proud of the guys. We're just a little short."
Manhattan (31-25), the top seed and defending MAAC champion, scored the game-winning run with one out in the eighth inning on the third hit of the inning. "They snuck one in down the line," Davis said. "That's the way it goes sometimes."
The Jaspers tried the score at 5-5 in the fourth inning on a pair of walks, a single and a two-run double.
Rider (22-34), the fourth seed and 2010 MAAC champion, took a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning with a run on two walks, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly by junior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial).
Wayman had five hits in the tournament and enters his senior season with 166 career hits. Wayman and junior pitcher Tyler Smith were named to the All-Tournament team.
The Broncs scored four runs in the third inning on four hits, including an RBI double by sophomore Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South), two sacrifice flies and an error, to take a 4-3 lead.
The sacrifice fly by freshman Eric Strano (Robbinsville) was his fifth RBI of the tournament.
Mulderig had three hits and two RB I in the tournament.
Freshman Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) pitched four and two-thirds innings of relief, his longest collegiate outing, allowing one run on six hits while striking out four. "Zack threw great," Davis said. "I think he made one bad pitch and they hit the double to tie it. He was very effective and he showed why he is going to be a good pitcher."
Freshman Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge) pitched three and one-third innings, allowing three earned runs, striking out two, and left the game with a 5-3 lead.
Rider sophomore Ken Kremer (Hershey, PA/Hershey) made his first start of the tournament and first of the season at second base (21 starts as DH) and collected two hits and a walk and turned a double play. "He got a couple hits and maybe the best ball he hit was an out," Davis said. "He put some good swings on the ball today. He handled himself well and did a good job, especially since he hadn't played second base all year."
Junior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) had two hits Saturday, four in the tournament, giving him 96 hits for his career.
Manhattan took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on four hits and a Rider error.
The Broncs loaded the bases with one out in both the first and eighth innings but did not score, as Rider left 10 runners on base for the game.
Senior Brandon Cotten (Wiconisco, Pa./Williams Valley) leaves the program with 209 hits, sixth most ever at Rider, and 141 runs scored, seventh most ever at Rider, while being one of Rider's finest defensive outfielders of all time.
The young Broncs started three freshmen and two or three sophomores each tournament game.
Rider was 9-22 this year before going 13-10 to reach the second round of the tournament, Rider's fifth consecutive MAAC tournament. "You'd like to think that any time you play these types of games the players are gaining valuable experience," Davis said. "We'll see next year if they've learned from this."