Rider Takes Both Ends of a Doubleheader Versus Niagara

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
         
Release: April 15, 2017
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Courtesy: Neil Davis
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – The Rider University baseball team took both ends of a doubleheader against Niagara on Saturday afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) action at Sonny Pittaro Field. The Broncs (16-16, 8-4 MAAC) swept their second consecutive league series and have now won seven conference contests in a row, while the Purple Eagles (17-14, 7-5 MAAC) dropped their first MAAC series of the season.

In the opener, Rider broke a 1-1 tie in the home half of the sixth thanks to a single off the bat of sophomore Richie Tecco (Drexel Hill, PA/Monsignor Bonner). The Broncs perfectly executed a hit-and-run as Jake Bender (Ellicott City, MD/Marriotts Ridge) took off from first and came around to score on Tecco’s flare to left. It looked like the throw beat Bender to the plate, but the ball came out as Bender slid home safely.

Trailing by two late in game two, the Broncs used another rally to walk-off for the second straight day. All three of Rider’s walk-off wins in 2017 have come in MAAC play.

Trailing 5-3 in the eighth in the finale, senior catcher Lee Lipinski (Glen Arm, MD/Calvert Hall) sent the ball over the fence in left center to put the hosts within one. Lipinski’s third blast of the season was his second hit of the game.

After a perfect 1-2-3 top of the ninth, pinch hitter Brennan McAllister (Middletown, DE/Middletown) took the first pitch of the frame deep to right center for his first career triple. Later in the stanza, pinch runner Dallas Clark (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) would come around to score the tying run on a sacrifice fly to center by Harrison McClure (Atlanta, GA/South Florida State/North Atlanta).

Bender would end the game with a one-out single to right field with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th. The RBI was Bender’s 19th of the season.

On the mound, junior southpaw Nick Margevicius (North Royalton, OH/Saint Ignatius) went the distance for the Broncs in the opener. He struck out eight batters and scattered six hits over seven innings, while allowing just one unearned run to pick up his team-leading fourth win of the season. In the finale, senior reliever Josh Sharik (Ewing, NJ/Plumstead Christian School) tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory. The triumph was Sharik’s third of the season as he allowed just one hit and fanned one hitter.

NOTES & QUOTES
“It was a plus start by Nick in game one,” Rider Head Coach Barry Davis said. “We were very fortunate to get the win. We missed some opportunities.”

“Our  bullpen did a great job in game two,” Davis added. “We got a big pinch hit from McAllister and later Tyler Kaiser set the stage for the game-winning hit by Bender. We pitched well, played solid defense and got just enough hitting.”

- On Monday, sophomore shortstop Richie Tecco was tabbed as the College Sports Madness MAAC Player of the Week. It marked the first time in his career he was honored for his play on the field. 
- On Tuesday, catcher Lee Lipinski was named the MAAC Player of the Week as announced by the league office and freshman pitcher John Yocum was honored as the MAAC Rookie of the Week. It was the first time receiving weekly accolades for both Lipinski and Yocum. 
- The complete game was the first of the season for Margevicius. He has now allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his four conference starts this season. Over his last two starts he has gone 13.0 innings and allowed just one earned run, while fanning 16 hitters and walking just two. 
- Yocum got the start in game two for the Broncs, tossing five innings and allowing three earned runs, while striking out five. 
- Rider has now won three straight 12 innings games dating back to 2015 when the team topped both Virginia Tech and Kent State.

BRONCS BY THE NUMBERS
- Rider has now won back-to-back MAAC series after starting the year 2-4 in league play. 
- The eight strikeouts by Margevicius in the first game tied a season-high for him. He has fanned eight hitters three times this spring. He leads the team 49 strikeouts this spring. 
- Six different Broncs had one-hit apiece in the first game. 
- Sharik won two games out of the bullpen in the series.  
- All three games in the series were decided by one run.
- Freshman leadoff hitter Kyle Johnson was hit by three pitches in the doubleheader.

ON DECK
Rider returns to action on Wednesday, April 19, with a non-conference clash against neighboring Princeton of the Ivy League. That game is set to get underway at 3:30 pm from Clarke Field in Princeton. The Broncs have won two of their last three games versus the Tigers.
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