Rider and Princeton Battle to a Tie in Non-Conference Play

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
Release: April 19, 2017
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Courtesy: Claire Leger
PRINCETON, NJ – The Rider University baseball team played to a 7-7 tie with neighboring Princeton University on Wednesday afternoon at Clarke Field in non-conference play. The game was called due to darkness after the conclusion of the bottom of the ninth. The Broncs (16-16-1) ran their unbeaten streak to four games, while the Tigers (9-22-1) saw their four-game losing streak come to an end.

Trailing 6-5 in the top of the eighth in the see-saw battle, Rider rallied for two runs to take a 7-6 edge. In the frame, junior first basemen Jake Bender (Ellicott City, MD/Marriotts Ridge) hit a two-out, two-run single to left field that put the Broncs back on top.

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Princeton would answer and tie the game at seven in the ninth courtesy of an RBI single up the middle by Nick Hernandez. Hernandez hurt the guests on the day, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs.

After the Broncs got out of a jam in the ninth, the umpires called the game due to darkness.

Offensively, sophomore designated hitter Riley Mihalik (Churchville, PA/Chestnut Hill Academy) and Bender paced the offensive attack for the Broncs. The duo accounted for five of the team’s 11 hits. Mihalik went 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, a walk and two runs scored, while Bender went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two walks.

On the mound, eight different Rider pitchers saw action in the game. In the fourth, fifth and sixth frames, Paul Sparano (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) , Jordan Silverman (Holland, PA/Council Rock HS South) and Dylan Simcik (Newtown, PA/Holy Ghost Prep) combined to keep the Tigers off the board. The trio allowed just one hit and struck out six hitters.

“I thought we played okay,” Rider Head Coach Barry Davis. “We need to pitch a little better. We got everybody into the game and got our pitchers some work out of the bullpen to get ready for the weekend because our series at Canisius is a big one.”

- Earlier this week, junior starting pitcher Nick Margevicius was named the College Sports Madness MAAC Player of the Week. It marked the second week in a row that a Bronc took home the distinction.
- Rider has now won two of last four games versus Princeton. 
- On Tuesday, Margevicius and freshman pitcher Pete Soporowski were honored with weekly awards by the league office. Margevicius was tabbed as the MAAC Pitcher of the Week, while Soporowski was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week. 
- The Broncs played to their first tie since 1995. The tie was just the third for Rider in the last 25 years. 
- The back-and-forth game saw four lead changes.

- The tie was the first under Davis, who ranks second in program history with 309 wins at Rider. Davis has 896 career victories.  
- Mihalik now has a team-high 12 extra-base hits. Mihalik has recorded four multi-hit games in his last five appearances. 
- All three of the outs Sparano recorded for the Broncs came via strikeouts. Silverman also fanned three hitters in 1.1 innings of work.  
- For the second week in a row, a Bronc freshman weekend starter was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week.

Rider travels to Buffalo, New York for a three-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) series this weekend against Canisius that is slated to get underway on Saturday, April 22, with a doubleheader at Demske Sports Complex.
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