First Place Broncs Host Peacocks
Rider Returns to MAAC Action
LAWRENCEVILLE—The Rider baseball team looks to win its fourth conference series of the season this weekend when the Broncs host Saint Peter’s for three Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games, beginning with a 12 noon doubleheader on Saturday.
The games can be heard on your radio at 107.7 FM The Bronc and on your computer at www.GoBroncs.com.
Rider (21-14, 7-2 MAAC) has already won the series with the top two teams in the preseason poll, defending champion Manhattan last weekend and 2012 runner-up Canisius the weekend prior.
The Broncs possess the best pitching corps in the MAAC, with senior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.), junior Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie) and sophomore Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge) in the starting rotation and sophomore Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) in the bullpen.
Smith (5-3) owns a 1.91 earned run average this year, holding opponents to a .238 batting average, and will pitch the series opener Saturday. He has 43 strike outs and just 10 walks. Smith’s next win will be the 20th of his career. There are currently just seven Broncs with 20 career wins. A former Preseason All-American closer, Smith also has 27 career saves.
Murphy (3-4) was the 2012 MAAC Pitcher of the Year and will seek his 14th career win in the second game on Saturday, the seven inning contest.
Sowa (7-1) is eighth in the nation in wins and will pitch the 12 noon game on Sunday. Sowa is 3-0 against MAAC teams this year and owns a career mark of 12-5.
Mawson has already compiled nine saves, the 11th most in Division I this year. The lefty has appeared in 16 games, with 13 of them being scoreless outings. Mawson has saved four of the nine MAAC wins.
The Rider offense is led by junior Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South), sophomore Eric Strano (Robbinsville), senior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) and junior Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton).
Mulderig, an outfielder/designated hitter/pitcher, leads Rider with a .364 batting average, with 39 hits, including seven doubles, and 13 stolen bases. Mulderig recently homered in a MAAC win at Manhattan.
Strano, the Bronc catcher, is batting .306 with 34 hits in 29 games started behind the plate. He has thrown out twelve base runners attempting to steal this season.
Strano and Mulderig are both batting .400 in MAAC games.
Wayman, the Bronc third baseman, recently homered for his 200th career hit, and enters the weekend with 203, ninth most ever at Rider. This season Wayman is batting .291 with 37 hits and a team-high 24 runs scored.
Crescenzo has 94 putouts and a pair of assists without an error in the Bronc outfield this year while collecting 34 hits in 34 games with a team-high 24 RBI.
The Broncs are 10-3 at home this year, including 5-1 in home MAAC play.
Saint Peter’s (12-20, 5-4 MAAC) is 6-16 on the road this year. The Broncs won two of three games at Saint Peter’s last year. The Broncs had won 11 straight meetings with Saint Peter's before the loss last year. Rider has only lost to the Peacocks five times in 60 games since the series began in 1941.