Broncs Sweep Norfolk State
Rider University 11, Norfolk State University 2
Rider University 2, Norfolk State University 1
NORFOLK, Va.--The Rider University baseball team swept a doubleheader on Saturday at Norfolk State and won the four-game series, three games to one to open the 2012 regular season.
"We are happy to come back and win the series after losing the opener in 14 innings 1-0 on Friday," said head coach Barry Davis. "To win a four-game series, you have to win three and that's harder to do when you lose the first game. I thought we played better today and at the end of the day, your goal is to win the games so it was important to take the series."
In the second game, junior Joe Calogero (Cherry Hill/Cherry Hill HS West) picked up his sixth career win and first of the season, working 5 1/3 innings, scattering four hits while recording four strikeouts.
"Joe did a good job and kept us in the game," Davis said. "We got him just enough runs to get the win."
Rider (3-1) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by junior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial), scoring sophomore Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton) who led off with a single and stole second. Wayman had four hits in the doubleheader and five in the series.
The Broncs went ahead 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning when senior Brandon Cotten (Wiconisco, Pa./Williams Valley) hit a two-out triple and Wayman followed with an RBI single. Wayman had five RBI in the doubleheader and Cotten had five hits on the day.
"That's the output you need from your three and four hitters," Davis said about Cotten and Wayman. "Wayman had a big two-out hit in the second game that put us ahead 2-0. Cotten and Wayman were solid."
NSU (1-3) cut the Bronc lead in half in the bottom of the sixth inning with a walk and one-out RBI double.
"We had a chance to extend the lead and made a base running error," Davis said. "We could have been up three, maybe four runs and then they (NSU) got to within 2-1 the next inning."
Junior Sean Kuberiet (Branchburg/Somerville) pitched two-thirds of an inning to get Rider out of the jam and junior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Township) induced three ground outs in the seventh inning to record his 25th career save.
"Kuberiet did a nice job getting us out of the sixth inning," Davis added. "And Smith did a good job to finish out the game."
In the opener, fifth-year senior Patrick Devlin (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock HS North) went five innings, allowing three hits while recording four strikeouts to pick up his 14th career win.
"Pat threw strikes and didn't walk anyone," Davis said. "He got his curveball over and they swung and missed a few times. He seemed in control of the game, we got some runs early and that allowed him to attack the hitters a little bit. He was solid and did a good job."
Rider scored four times in the first inning on three hits and two errors and the Broncs increased the lead to 5-0 in the second inning on a Spartan error and sacrifice fly by Wayman.
The Broncs plated three more runs in the fourth inning on an RBI triple from Cotten and an RBI single by junior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Township) along with another NSU error. The Spartans had five errors in the opening game, leading to five unearned runs. Lindsay had two hits in the first game and three hits on the day.
"We put the ball in play and put the pressure on their defense with some bunts," said Davis about game one. "We were able to jump out early and extend the lead. Lindsay had some good at-bats and had a couple of hits."
An RBI double by freshman Greg Fazio (Far Hills/Ridge) and RBI single from senior Chris Pierfy (Hamilton/Nottingham) were part of a three-run sixth inning as the Broncs went ahead 11-0. Fazio had two hits and two RBI on Saturday.
NSU scored twice in the sixth inning on three walks and a two-run double for the final score.
Also for the Broncs in game one, freshman Eric Strano (Robbinsville) had a double and was hit by a pitch two times.
Rider freshman Eric Thomas (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown Area) pitched one and two-thirds of scoreless relief with two strikeouts to close out the first game.
Rider stole six bases in the doubleheader, two by Cotten.
"NSU was very good on the mound and their catcher was very good," Davis said. "I was impressed with the way we were able to run. We are going to need to execute and manufacture some runs, hit and run, bunt, steal and hit behind runners to be successful."
Norfolk State won the opening game of the series 1-0 in 14 innings before Rider earned the split with a 5-3 win in Friday's doubleheader.
Rider travels to Boone, North Carolina to face Appalachian State in a four-game series March 2-4.
"We are going to use the time before the ASU series to refocus on some of the details we didn't do well this weekend," Davis said. "We'll use the gap in the schedule to our advantage and try to improve. Appalachian State is going to be very good and we will have to be ready."