Rider’s Renaissance Man
Pre-Med Mulderig Expected to be Drafted
LAWRENCEVILLE—Jerry Mulderig of Langhorne, PA, a junior Behavioral Neuroscience major at Rider University, is excelling on the baseball field as well as in the classroom, and before heading to medical school is expected to be offered a chance to play professionally this summer.
A 2010 graduate of Council Rock South High School, Mulderig has led the Rider Broncs (23-15) to first place (9-3) in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as the ultimate utility player, with 20 games played in the outfield, 16 more as the designated hitter and six as a pitcher, including four starts on the mound.
“Jerry has had a great start,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “He has been our most consistent player. He is doing it with the bat and his legs. He is versatile. His speed combined with potential power is a good combination. He is just starting to figure it out. There's more there.”
As a left-handed hitter, Mulderig leads Rider in batting (.359, 127th in the nation), on base percentage (.457, 103rd in nation) and stolen bases (14, 99th in nation), but increases the attendance at home games (the addition of six to 12 scouts with their radar guns) when he is scheduled to pitch.
“I guess they like the potential they see,” the 6’4”, 205 pound right-handed throwing Mulderig said of the scouts.
“He is being scouted as a pitcher,” said Davis, who has seen 20 of his former players sign professional contracts. “The question is, can he develop into a professional pitcher? The draft is such a tough read, but it only takes one person to really like you. We'll see what happens in the coming months. I will not be surprised by anything.”
“I think the scouts being at the games affects me positively,” said Mulderig, who is clocked in the low to mid 90s. “I have to do well to keep them coming back to look at me. That is the ultimate goal, to play at the highest level.”
Rider has had 45 players sign pro contracts in the last 43 years, with six reaching the majors.
In his last outing Mulderig pitched three perfect innings, striking out three.
Mulderig (3-2) recently started on the mound and batted clean up in a 6-3 loss at the University of Maryland. At the plate he had four of Rider’s eight hits and his single gave Rider a 1-0 lead against the Terps. He pitched three and a third innings at Maryland, allowing four hits and a walk with a strikeout. He left the mound with Rider trailing 3-2.
Despite his success and all the attention from the scouts, Mulderig has only pitched six times this year, a total of just 13 innings, and has nine strikeouts.
“If I could put the time into pitching that I put into hitting things might be a little different,” Mulderig said. “We don’t need me as a pitcher with the staff we have.”
Rider possesses the best team earned run average in the MAAC (3.30, 51st best in Division I).
In the classroom, Mulderig possesses a 3.34 grade point average. “Jerry is in a difficult program (science),” Davis said, “and his class schedule includes labs at conflicting times which makes it very difficult to get the on-field work needed to be as good as he can be. It is tough enough, but he has it tougher than most. He has handled it very well and has found a way to make it work.”
“I plan on going to medical school,” Mulderig said, “after all this is over.”
‘All this’ being his baseball career, at Rider and beyond.
Mulderig was named Rider’s Most Improved Player in 2012. He has a career batting average of .312 with 87 hits in 77 collegiate games started and has pitched in 16 games, 12 as a reliever.
At CR South Mulderig earned First Team All-League honors as a second baseman and Third Team All-League honors as a pitcher his senior year.
“We liked his power, his speed and his arm strength,” said Davis, the only Division I coach to recruit him. “We took a small gamble on his upside. He looked as if he could play a few positions as well. He was a second baseman in high school.”
“My work ethic is much better now than it was in high school,” Mulderig said. “I’ve learned a lot here at Rider. Coach Davis was the first college coach to call me.”
Three years ago only one Division I program was interested in Mulderig. Now, a dozen pro scouts watch him every time he pitches. “It’s exciting,” Mulderig said. “I’ve played with a chip on my shoulder because nobody wanted me.”
Now the professionals want him, in baseball and in medical school.