Rider University 6, Cleveland State University 3
CLEVELAND, OH- Junior Brandon Cotten (Wiconisco, Pa./Williams Valley) had two hits and scored three runs to lead Rider to victory over Cleveland State Saturday in the second game of a three-game series with the Vikings.
"Brandon scored three runs for us," said Rider head coach Barry Davis. "We did enough to win."
Rider (32-16, 16-7 MAAC) scored three runs in the sixth inning on just one hit, a hit batsman, a steal of home by senior Karl Johnston (Hamilton, N.J./Peddie) and a wild pitch to break at 3-3 tie. "Flat out steal of home by Johnston," Davis said. Johnston now has 19 steals on just 20 attempts this season. "The relief pitcher they just brought in was left-handed and was a little slow in the wind up and Karl beat the throw."
Three runs on three hits, including a pair of doubles, a passed ball and a wild pitch allowed Cleveland State (12-42, 5-20 Horizon) to tie the score at 3-3 in the fifth inning.
Sophomore Joe Calogero (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill HS West) pitched seven innings, allowing four hits and walking one while striking out four for the victory, his second. Calogero recorded 10 outs before allowing a hit.
"Joe did a good job," Davis said. "He threw strikes and did what a good starter does, gives you seven innings and a chance to win."
Sophomore Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two, for his 15th save.
In the top of the fifth inning Cotten doubled and scored on an RBI single by senior A.J. Albee (Ashley, Pa./Hanover Area) to take a 3-0 lead. Albee also had two of Rider's seven hits. "We didn't really hit today," Davis said. "Their kid pitched pretty well."
For the second day in a row, Rider scored two runs in the top of the first inning. On Friday, the Broncs got on the board with a sacrifice fly by senior Mason Heyne (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) and an RBI single by sophomore Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial). Heyne ranks 11th in the nation in sacrifice flies with eight.
Rider plays at CSU Saturday afternoon to end the regular season. Saturday's game will be the final game in CSU program history, as the university is dropping the sport of baseball.
"We're looking to finish the regular season on a high note," Davis said.
Rider hosts the MAAC Tournament May 26-29 at Mercer County's Waterfront Park. The Broncs are the second seed and will play Thursday at 7pm against the third seed, Siena. "I don't know it that's good or bad," Davis said of facing the Saints. "We're playing, so that's good."
The first game of the tournament will be 3pm Thursday, with the top seed, Manhattan, hosting the fourth seed, Canisius.