Baseball Championship Media Center
Courtesy: Rider Sports Information  
Release:  05/21/2012

Courtesy: Brian David Solomon (Rider University)
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College Baseball
Broncs in MAAC Tournament

TROY, NY-The Rider University baseball team is taking part in the wet 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament at Joe Bruno Stadium.

Rider (1-0) is the fourth seed and will play again Friday at 7pm after defeating the top seed and defending MAAC Champion, Manhattan Thursday in the first game of the tournament.  At 9:30pm Thursday after a rain delay the second seed, Canisius (16-8) takes on the third seed, Fairfield (14-10).

The winners of Thursday's games meet Friday at 7pm. The losers from Thursday play Friday at 3pm.

Rider is in the MAAC tournament for the fifth year in a row and the 10th time in 15 years in the conference.  Rider won the MAAC Championship in 2008 and again in 2010.

The Broncs are led by senior centerfielder Brandon Cotten, sophomore pitcher Mike Murphy and junior pitcher Tyler Smith.

Cotten was named the team MVP for the second year in a row, while Murphy was named the team's Most Valuable Pitcher.  Smith, a Preseason All-American closer, moved from the bull pen to the starting rotation mid-way through the season and will start game one against Manhattan.

Cotten leads Rider in hits (60), RBI (30), slugging percentage (.454) and stolen bases (16 of 18) and is regarded as one of the finest defensive outfielders in the East.

Murphy won five of his last six starts against MAAC teams and leads Rider in wins (6), earned run average (2.86) and is second in strike outs (55). He ranks second in the MAAC in e.r.a. and wins. Murphy will start for Rider on Friday.

Smith won Game 1 vs. Manhattan with his sixth complete game. Smith ranks fourth in the MAAC in strikeouts (58 K in 68 innings) and ninth in earned run average (3.69).

The Broncs are seeking their 12th Conference Championship in the last 28 years, having won three Northeast Conference Titles in the 1990s and six East Coast Conference Titles between 1984 and 1992.

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