Saint Peter’s University 4, Rider University 2
Rider University 3, Saint Peter’s University 0
LAWRENCEVILLE—The Broncs split a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader with Saint Peter’s Saturday afternoon.
In the second game junior Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie) pitched a shutout, striking out four without allowing a walk, giving up just four singles. “Murph was outstanding,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We couldn’t ask of anything better. He didn’t give up any runs and he threw strikes. He was in command of the game.”
“I was using my fastball and changeup and was able to throw strikes with both of them,” said Murphy (4-4), the 2012 MAAC Pitcher of the Year. “I was trying to work down and we got a lot of ground balls.”
In the first six innings he faced just one over the minimum. Murphy collected his 14th career win. “It feels great to get the win,” Murphy said. “I think I am going in a positive direction right now, opposed to this time last year when I started going the other way. I feel a lot stronger at this point of the season than I did last year.”
Rider (22-15, 8-3 MAAC) lumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and handed it over to Murphy. “Especially when you lose the first game, it is very important to start the second game like that,” Davis said.
In the first inning junior Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South), who homered in the first game, laid down a bunt single, senior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) hit an RBI single, and both Mulderig and Wayman scored on a single by junior Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) for a 3-0 lead.
Wayman and Crescenzo each had two of Rider’s seven hits in the second game and three hits on the day. Crescenzo also had six put outs and an assist in right field to give him 100 putouts and three assists without an error in the Bronc outfield this year while collecting 37 hits in 36 games with a team-high 26 RBI.
In the first game Saint Peter’s (13-21, 6-5 MAAC) scored three runs in the eighth inning to take a 3-2 lead. “We basically blew a 2-0 lead,” Davis said.
Rider senior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.), seeking his 20th career win, pitched into the eighth inning and struck out nine with just one walk. “Tyler deserved better,” Davis said of his senior lefty. “Give Saint Peter’s credit, we committed three errors but they put some hits together when they needed to.”
Smith (5-3) left the game with a 2-1 lead. “We didn’t do much offensively in the first game but Smith was good,” Davis said.
The Broncs took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI single by sophomore Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) and went up 2-0 in the fifth inning on Mulderig’s two-out home run, his second in the last two MAAC series.
Senior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) had two of Rider’s six hits in the first game.
The Broncs are 11-4 at home this year, including 5-2 in home MAAC play.
Saint Peter’s is 7-17 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 six times in 61 games since the series began in 1941.
The third game of the series is Sunday at 12 noon. “Saint Peter’s is throwing their best pitcher tomorrow,” Davis said. “He’s pretty good and was successful against us last year. We have a good guy going as well (7-1 sophomore Kurt Sowa of Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge). Hopefully we’ll come ready to play, because we’ll need to.”
Rider has won the first three MAAC series of the season. “I think we’re setting ourselves up to succeed,” Murphy said. “This team is a big family; we all love each other and are really close.”