Late Rally Leads Charlotte past Rider in Season Opener

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
Release: February 24, 2017
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Courtesy: Neil Davis
Charlotte, NC – The Rider University baseball team opened the 2017 season with a 4-2 setback against Charlotte on Friday afternoon in non-conference action from Hayes Stadium. The Broncs (0-1) surrendered a late two-run lead as the 49ers (3-2) rallied for four runs in the home half of the eighth to snap a two-game skid.

Both freshman infielder Kyle Johnson (Jackson, NJ/Jackson Memorial) and senior catcher Lee Lipinski (Glen Arm, MD/Calvert Hall) led the offensive charge for the Broncs with two hits apiece. On the mound, Bronc junior Nick Margevicius (North Royalton, OH/Saint Ignatius) pitched well, going seven-plus innings and allowing just one earned run, while scattering four hits and striking out three.

Rider got off to a quick start as Johnson led off the game with a single and then stole second to move into scoring position. After a walk by junior Jake Bender (Ellicott City, MD/Marriotts Ridge), Charlotte starter Colton Laws would retire the next two Bronc batters. With two outs in the frame and two strikes on him, Lipinski delivered a double to left center that plated both Johnson and Bender.

Neither team would score again until the home half of the eighth when the 49ers erupted for four runs on five hits and left the bases loaded. A leadoff walk in the frame would chase Margevicius and after another walk and a single, Logan Sherer slapped a two-run single through the left side to knot the game at two. The 49ers would tack on two-more RBI singles in the stanza to take a two-run edge at 4-2 into the ninth.

Charlotte reliever Philip Perry worked two scoreless innings of relief, striking out a pair of Broncs to earn the save.  

Notes & Quotes
“For our first time out this season we played pretty good,” Rider University Head Coach Barry Davis. “If Margevicius does that when he pitches this season, we are going to win a lot of games.”

“It was a competitive game,” Davis added. “We looked like we were supposed to be there with them. They are a good team and we went toe-to-toe with them as their Friday night starter pitched.”

“Johnson had a hell of game for us,” Davis noted. “He showed why he is at the top of our lineup and he made a couple big plays in the field. We expected that from him and he did a great job.”

-Each team scored all of its runs in one inning. In both of those frames, the first two batters to come to plate reached base.
-The Broncs only had the leadoff runner on base in the first inning.
-Rider had two or more hits in an inning twice.  

Broncs by the Numbers
-Three of the six Bronc hits came with two strikes.  
-Both Johnson and Lipinski were 2-for-4. Johnson had a stolen base and Lipinski had both Bronc RBIs. Lipinski also had the only extra-base hit in the game.
-Margevicius final stat line: 7+ innings, 4H, 3K, 2BB, 1ER. He induced 11 fly outs and 7 ground outs.
-The Bronc 4-7 hitters all had one hit apiece and combined to go 5-for-16.

On Deck
Rider and Charlotte continue their four-game series tomorrow, February 25, with a doubleheader at Hayes Stadium. First pitch in game is one is set for 12:00 pm with junior righty Paul Sparano (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) tabbed to get the start for the Broncs. 
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