Broncs Host Canisius Saturday, Sunday
Broncs Host Canisius This Weekend
LAWRENCEVILLE—Two teams that are expected to be in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament this year will square off in a three-game series this weekend at Rider’s Sonny Pittaro field.
Canisius College (20-7) is picked to finish second in the MAAC this year, after finishing second last regular season and runner-up in the 2012 Championship Tournament.
The Golden Griffins are 4-2 in the MAAC, sweeping Iona after winning one of three vs. Saint Peter’s. Canisius is led by first baseman Jimmy Luppens, who has 35 hits, including four home runs and 24 RBI, to go along with his .432 batting average and .545 on base percentage.
Leftfielder Jesse Kelso has four triples this year and nine stolen bases while batting .360.
Canisius has won its last five games and has a MAAC-high .308 team batting average, with a MAAC-high 186 runs scored.
Canisius’ pitching is second only to Rider’s in the MAAC.
With Rider (13-12, 2-1 MAAC), pitching is the name of the game. Even the top hitter is a pitcher.
Bronc senior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.) currently leads the MAAC in earned run average (1.29) and strikeouts (39 in 42 innings) and has four wins as the number one starter. His next win will be career victory #19 to go along with his 27 career saves.
Smith is expected to pitch the first game of the series, Saturday at 12 noon.
Junior Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie) recently pitched a string of 27 innings while allowing just two earned runs, and will pitch the single game Sunday at 12 noon. Murphy will be seeking his 13th career win.
Sophomore Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge) leads Rider with a 5-1 record this season, compiling 24 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched, and will pitch the second game on Saturday, a seven-inning contest. Sowa pitched a two-hit shutout against NJIT this year and already has 10 career wins (10-5) in just 20 starts at Rider.
The Bronc pitcher who has been drawing the most attention from the scouts, however, is junior right fielder Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South). Mulderig is batting .382 with a team-high 29 hits and a MAAC-high 12 stolen bases, and has also appeared in five games on the mound.
The doubleheader Saturday will be broadcast on the radio at 107.7 FM The Bronc and on the internet at www.GoBroncs.com.