Rider Falls to Delaware in the Liberty Bell Classic

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
Release: March 29, 2017
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Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
NEWARK, DE – The Rider University baseball team fell to Delaware, 21-6, on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the Liberty Bell Classic at Bob Hannah Stadium. The Broncs (8-13) dropped their third straight contest, while the Blue Hens (13-9) have now won five of their last seven tilts.

Rider jumped out to an early 6-1 edge, thanks to plating three runs in both the second and third frames. Delaware would respond with 20 unanswered runs to erase its deficit and take a lead they would not relinquish.

The Blue Hens rallied for five in the top of the fifth to tie the score at six before erupting for six more in the following inning. Delaware would tack on three more insurance runs in the seventh courtesy of a two-out, three-run blast to left. The Blue Hens would close out the scoring with six more insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

Offensively, sophomore designated hitter Riley Mihalik (Churchville, PA/Chestnut Hill Academy) and senior outfielder Tyler Kaiser (Moorestown, NJ (Moorestown) led the charge for Rider, combining for four of the team’s seven hits. Mihalik went 2-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI, while Kaiser went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

On the mound, freshman John Yocum (Easton, PA/Freedom) got the start for the Broncs and got a no decision after tossing 4.1 innings and allowing six earned runs on just three hits. Control was an issue for Yocum as he walked two batters and hit three more. Reliever Josh Sharik (Ewing, NJ/Plumstead Christian School) was saddled with the loss for the Rider, throwing 1.0 innings and surrendering six runs, five of which were earned, on four hits.

“It was an embarassing performance from the fifth inning on,” Rider Head Coach Barry Davis said. "We walked 11, hit five batters, comitted two errors, had two passed balls, a wild pitch and a balk."

- The game was originally scheduled to be in Lawrenceville, but was moved to Delaware due to unplayable field conditions. To keep the integrity of the Liberty Bell Classic, the Broncs remained the home team.
- Today’s contest was the rubber match in a three-game series between the two. The two squads split a pair of games at the Bob Hannah Invitational earlier this month. 
- From the second inning through the fourth, Yocum set down eight straight batters. The 4.1 inning outing by Yocum snapped a streak of back-to-back starts in which he tossed more than five innings. 
- Rider pitchers hit a season-high five batters and walked 11 Blue Hens.

- Jake Bender got on base three times for the Broncs, going 0-for-1 with three walks. It is his first career game with three walks and just the third time in 92 career games that he has walked more than once. 
- Rider left nine runners on base and went 4-of-14 with runners in scoring position. 
- Mihalik’s multi-hit game was the sixth of the spring. 
- Kaiser’s two-hit game was his four multi-hit game of the season. He now leads the team with 14 RBIs. It also marked the fifth time this season that he recorded two or more RBIs in a game.

Rider travels to square off with Iona in a three-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) series beginning on Saturday, April 1, and concluding Sunday, April 2. The Broncs and Gaels will play a doubleheader on Saturday with the second tilt scheduled to be seven innings and the two league foes wrap up the weekend with a single, nine-inning game on Sunday. 
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