Manhattan Takes Two From Rider on Sunday

Courtesy: Rider Sports Information
Release: April 30, 2017
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Courtesy: Claire Leger

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – The Rider University baseball team dropped both ends of a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) doubleheader versus Manhattan on Sunday afternoon at Sonny Pittaro Field. The Broncs (17-22-1, 9-9 MAAC) have now dropped back-to-back conference series, while the Jaspers (13-28, 7-8 MAAC) secured the series win with a 7-5 victory in game one and an 8-6 extra-inning triumph in the nightcap.

The opener was back-and-forth contest that saw two lead changes and two ties. Manhattan broke up a 5-5 game with single runs in their final two at-bats. With the game-tying run at the plate in the seventh for Rider, Jasper closer Shawn Kanwisher induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

In the finale, Rider erased a late four-run deficit to force extra innings. Trailing 6-2, Bronc senior outfielder Tyler Kaiser (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) brought the hosts to within one with a three-run double to left center in the bottom of the seventh. Rider would knot the score at six thanks to a two-out RBI single to center from senior Mike Volaski (Oxnard, CA/Ventura CC/Oxnard) in the ninth.

In extra innings, a Bronc miscued led to a pair of unearned runs in the top of the 10th. In the bottom half of the frame, Rider went down in order as Manhattan took the rubber game in the series.  

Offensively, freshman leadoff hitter Kyle Johnson (Jackson, NJ/Jackson Memorial) and sophomore shortstop Richie Tecco (Drexel Hill, PA/Monsignor Bonner) led the charge for the Broncs in the opener. The duo combined for four of the team's six hits. Johnson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBIs a walk and a home run, while Tecco went 2-for-3 with two singles and two runs scored. Lee Lipinski (Glen Arm, MD/Calvert Hall) also added a solo shot for Rider in the opener.

In the finale, both Volaski and Kaiser smacked three hits apiece for the hosts.

On the mound, a pair of freshman started for Rider. In game one, Pete Soporowski (South Amboy, NJ/Sayreville War Memorial) got a no-decision, tossing five innings and allowing four earned runs, while striking out one hitter. In game two, John Yocum (Easton, PA/Freedom) also got a no-decision for the Broncs. Yocum went 5.2 innings and allowed six runs, while scattering eight hits and striking out one hitter.

“We had plenty of opportunities, but could not produce today,” Rider Head Coach Barry Davis said. “We've put ourselves in a situation where we have little wiggle room. We still control our own destiny.”

“We need to prepare for a very good Marist club who's battling for first-place,” Davis added. It's going to be a tremendous challenge.”

- Rider is now 1-2 in extra-inning games this season.
- Jordan Silverman worked .2 innings in game one out of the bullpen and was the tough-luck loser for Rider.
- Josh Sharik, making his team-leading 25th appearance out of the pen, was saddled with the loss in game two. Sharik allowed two unearned runs in two innings of work.  
- With his four hits on the day, Tecco is now hitting a team-high .380 in MAAC play in 2017. Kaiser is batting .375 against MAAC opponents this spring.

- Volaski's three-hit game was his third of the season and the second in conference action.
- Johnson's two-run blast in game one was the second of his career. He recorded a pair of multi-hit games on the day. He has a team-high 44 hits.
- Lee Lipinski's solo homer in his first at-bat of the day tied him for the team lead with Kaiser and Riley Mihalik. All three have four home runs this season.
- Kaiser had a pair of three-hit games in the series. He leads the team with 29 RBIs and 16 extra-base hits.
- Lipinski threw out three runners attempting to steal in game two, highlighted by gunning down two would-be base stealers in the top of the ninth.

Rider hits the road next weekend to take on Marist on a MAAC weekend three-game series in Poughkeepsie, New York. With no mid-week games on the docket, the Broncs will head to the Empire State well rested.  Last season, the Red Foxes swept Rider in Lawrenceville in mid-May. 

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