Broncs Take Manhattan
Rider University 11, Manhattan College 9
Rider University 3, Manhattan College 1
LAWRENCEVILLE--In a battle of the last two MAAC Champions, the Broncs swept Manhattan in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday. "It is hard to win one against a good team like Manhattan and it is certainly hard to win two," said Rider head coach Barry Davis. "These were two good wins."
Rider junior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) had four hits and five RBI in the doubleheader with three runs scored.
In the second game Lindsay hit a walk-off, two-run home run with one out in the seventh inning to give Rider (11-22, 6-5 MAAC) the sweep. "I've been working on keeping my hands in and I was able to do that on that fastball," Lindsay said of his walk-off.
Earlier in the game Lindsay had two perfect sacrifice bunts. "I guess they are both important," said Lindsay, who leads the Broncs with a .327 batting average.
"He's a good hitter, that's why he bats third, but he's also a very good bunter," Davis said, "and he has power in his hands. The ball jumped off his bat on the home run. He got a good pitch off of a good pitcher."
Junior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.) pitched a complete game, his second in as many starts, striking out eight.
An All-East closer who was a Preseason All-American closer to start this year, Smith has won both of his college starts. "I think I figured out this starting role a little bit," Smith said with a smile. "Still getting my arm conditioned for it but so far, so good."
"Lindsay and Smith, a pair of Haddon Township boys," Davis said.
"I was throwing fastball, splitter (split-fingered fastball) all day," Smith said. "I threw one slider and it went for a home run so I didn't throw that again."
Rider tied the score 1-1 in fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by junior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial). "That was a big (sacrifice fly) hit by Wayman," Davis said.
Sophomore Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) had three of Rider's eight hits in game two, and sophomore Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South) had two. Crescenzo had four hits in the twin bill and Mulderig had three.
Crescenzo also threw out a runner at the plate to end the fourth inning. "That was a big play by Nick," Davis said.
In the first game Rider led 11-1 after five innings and held on for the win that snapped a 10-game winning streak by Manhattan (14-19, 7-4 MAAC).
The victory in game one was the 200th at Rider for head coach Barry Davis, now in his eighth season as the Bronc skipper. Overall, Davis has a college coaching record of 772-370.
The defending MAAC Champion, Manhattan scored nine runs in the last four innings to make things interesting. "I told the players they were not going to go away," Davis said.
Freshman Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) hit an RBI single in the second inning to give Rider a 1-0 lead, and the Broncs scored three runs in the third on two hits, two errors and a sacrifice fly by Wayman to take a 4-1- lead.
Rider, the 2010 MAAC Champion, scored four runs in the fourth inning on six hits, including a two-run homer by graduate student Ryan Murphy (Yardville, N.J./Steinert), his second in three years against the Jaspers, and doubles by Parsons, Crescenzo and senior Brandon Cotten (Wiconisco, Pa./Williams Valley).
"That was a big hit by Murphy," Davis said of the home run.
Wayman, Parsons and Murphy each had two hits in the first game. Cotten had two hits on the day and now has 186 hits, 15th most ever at Rider.
The Broncs added three runs in the fifth inning to take an 11-1 lead.
Sophomore Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie) got the win, his third, striking out eight in six innings of work. "Murphy did a good job," Davis said.
Freshman Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) pitched three innings for the save, his second, allowing just one hit. "I thought Mawson did a tremendous job," Davis said. "He settled the game down."
Since the series began in 1998, Rider's first year in the MAAC, the Jaspers have won 25 of the 47 meetings. Manhattan beat Rider 2-1 in the 2009 MAAC Tournament. "Ever since I've been here Manhattan has been good," Davis said. "They always play hard and they always play to win."
"All conference games are the same, but it is always good to take down a team ahead of you in the standings," Smith said. "It is a great feeling to beat a good team, and Manhattan is a good team."
Last year the Broncs and Jaspers split the doubleheader in Riverdale and the third game was rained out.
The last time the Jaspers came to Lawrenceville the Broncs took two of three games from Manhattan. "Any time we play conference games it is big, but especially Manhattan," Lindsay said. "We've been struggling a bit this year but we know we are a good team. We believe in each other and we know we'll pull through in the end."
The third game of the series will be Sunday at 12 noon. "Manhattan is going to come out here on Sunday be ready to play," Davis said. "We need to match their intensity."