Rider University 6, Manhattan College 5
Rider University 6, Manhattan College 3
RIVERDALE, NY—The Broncs swept defending champion Manhattan in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader Sunday to win the series two games to one. “Manhattan is very good and they had their chances, we were just a little better today,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We feel fortunate to win the series.”
Rider (20-13, 7-2 MAAC) has now won all three of its MAAC series this year.
In the second game senior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) homered for his 200th career hit, giving Rider a 5-2 lead in the seventh inning. “We’re proud of him,” Davis said of his senior third baseman. “That was certainly a great way to reach that milestone.”
Wayman became just the 11th Bronc to ever compile 200 hits.
Rider sophomore Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge) pitched five innings, allowing no earned runs while striking out five and left the game with a 4-2 lead. Sowa (7-1) ranks in the top 10 in the nation in wins.
Rider senior Chris Taylor (Sterling, VA/Dominion) pitched two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth. “Taylor did an outstanding job today,” Davis said. “He came in and really stabilized the ball game.”
Sophomore Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save, his ninth of the season, which also ranks among the top 10 in the nation. “Zach was very effective today,” Davis said.
Sophomore Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) had three of Rider’s 13 hits in the second game, as well as a safety squeeze bunt in the three-run second inning. “He did that bunt on his own,” Davis said. “He’s coming around, getting on base.”
Rider junior Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South) doubled for the second time in game two and scored on an error to give Rider a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning.
“Jerry had a good day,” Davis said. Mulderig had four hits, three for extra bases, in the doubleheader. “He really swung the bat and drove the ball well. He’s become a real force in the middle of our lineup. The ball was jumping off his bat today.”
Freshman Brian Donnelly (Churchville, PA/Council Rock South) hit an RBI single and scored in a three-run second inning.
Manhattan (15-17, 6-6 MAAC) scored two unearned runs in the fourth inning on two hits and two Rider errors, cutting the lead to 3-2.
Rider sophomore Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) had two hits in the second game. “Justin also made two great plays in the field,” Davis said of his first baseman.
In the first game the Broncs scored four runs on five hits in the second inning on a two-run single by sophomore Eric Strano (Robbinsville) and RBI singles by Wayman and Parsons to take a 6-2 lead.
Parsons threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the bottom of the last inning. “That was a big play,” Davis said.
Strano scored twice and had two RBI in the first game.
Junior Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie) pitched five innings and allowed just four hits, but two of them were home runs. “He didn’t have his best stuff today but he grinded it out,” Davis said.
The 2012 MAAC Pitcher of the Year, Murphy improves to 3-4 on the season and wins for the 13th time in his career.
Mulderig hit a two-run home run, the second of his career, in the first inning to give the Broncs a 2-0 lead. Mulderig had two of Rider’s nine hits in the first game.
The Jaspers hit a pair of third inning home runs to cut the lead to 6-5. Manhattan tied the score at 2-2 in the first inning with two hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly.
Rider freshman Vincenzo Aiello (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville) pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the save, his first. “Vinny did a great job,” Davis said. “That was big.”
The Broncs also won two of the three games with Manhattan last year at Rider. The last time Rider played in Riverdale the Broncs and Jaspers split the doubleheader and the third game was rained out.
“It is always tough to play here,” Davis said. “We haven’t had a whole lot of success at this park.”
Rider is 25-28 in the all-time series with Manhattan that began in 1998, Rider’s first year in the MAAC.
Rider reaches the 20-win mark for the 21st consecutive season and the 30th time in the last 31 years. “Our goal is to have over 30 wins, so we’re getting there,” Davis said.
The Broncs host Monmouth Tuesday and LIU Wednesday.