Rider Drops a Pair Versus Fairfield

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
Release: March 25, 2017
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Courtesy: Brian David Solomon (Rider University)
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – The Rider University baseball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader versus Fairfield on Saturday afternoon at Sonny Pittaro Field in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) action. The Broncs (8-12, 1-2 MAAC) fell in the opener, 1-0, in extra innings before losing a 9-1 decision to the Stags (7-11, 2-1 MAAC) in the finale. With the two victories on Saturday, Fairfield wins the series.

Game one was pitcher’s duel between Rider’s Nick Margevicius (North Royalton, OH/Saint Ignatius) and Fairfield’s Gavin Wallace. Margevicius threw eight shutout innings and scattered just three hits, while striking out six Stags. On the opposite side, Wallace tossed a complete-game shutout and allowed five hits while striking out seven Broncs.

The contest was scheduled to go seven innings, but neither team broke through until the ninth. With Rider closer Andrew Tumbelty (Westampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) on the bump, Troy Scocca registered the only RBI of the game as he smacked a two-out single to center to bring the eventual game-winning run home.

In the bottom half of the ninth with Wallace’s pitch count rising the Broncs threatened, advancing runners to second and third with two outs following a wild pitch. With the game-winning run on second, Tyler Kaiser (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) hit a line drive to right field that was caught on the run to end the game.

In the second game, Rider pushed across just one run thanks to a solo shot from sophomore designated hitter Riley Mihalik (Churchville, PA/Chestnut Hill Academy).

Fairfield broke open a 5-1 game in the finale with a four-run outburst in the top of the seventh. During the frame, the Stags took advantage of four Bronc wild pitches to add some insurance runs.

In game two, Paul Sparano (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) was saddled with the loss for Rider after tossing five innings and allowing four runs, just two of which earned. 

“That’s about as good of game as you’re going to get that I’ve seen,” Rider Head Coach Barry Davis said about the opener. “We kind of knew that was the way that it was going to go. We knew that one hit there, one pitch here could have been the difference. The games that we’ve won when Nick has started, outside of the Georgia game, we haven’t scored runs for him. We have to be able to do better.”

“We need to get off to a better start offensively,” Davis added. “We didn’t lead all weekend. We played three games and the hit from Estevez for the walk off yesterday was our only lead. They didn’t make as many mistakes as we did. Fairfield put the ball in play more than we did. They were hitting line drives and we were hitting high fly balls.

- Margevicius stellar season continues on the mound. He has gone at least five innings in all five of his starts. In his last 13 innings pitched he hasn’t allowed an earned run. He posted a WHIP below 1.00 for the first time this season and he has registered a WHIP of 1.00 or lower three times this season. He lowered his ERA from 2.25 to 1.69. He also leads the team in strikeouts this spring, fanning 27 hitters in 32 innings of work.
- Lee Lipinski went 3-for-3 in the second game. He accounted for three of the team’s seven hits in the contest. In the series he was 4-for-10. It was his second three-hit game of the season and the first time he didn’t record an out at the plate this year. He currently leads the Broncs in hitting, batting .367.
- Tumbelty suffered his first loss of the season in the opener to move to 0-1 in 2017 with two saves. He allowed his first earned run of the year. His ERA is now 1.08 in 8.1 innings of work.

- Richie Tecco went 2-for-5 on the day to boost his average up to .220. After recording three hits over the first nine games, Tecco has now had at least one hit in seven straight contests.
- Mihalik’s solo shot was his team-leading third home run of the season. He is also tied for the team-lead with six extra-base hits this season. Mihalik is hitting .275 with 8 RBI. 

Rider hosts Delaware in non-conference action on Tuesday, March 28, with first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 pm at Sonny Pittaro Field. Earlier this season, the Broncs and Blue Hens split a two-game series in Newark, Delaware. 
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