Rider University 3, Niagara University 2 (13 innings)
Rider University 16, Niagara University 6
NIAGARA FALLS, NY—May the fourth be with you. Something certainly was with Rider on Saturday, May 4, winning in extra innings before winning a blowout.
The Broncs swept Niagara in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday.
With the sweep, first place Rider (29-17, 13-4 MAAC) has now won all six MAAC series this year with just two series remaining. “It’s a little easier when you win the first two than having to go to game three like we usually do,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “But we won the series, that’s the important thing.”
Rider junior Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South) had six RBI and four hits, including two doubles, in the doubleheader and now has 98 career hits.
Mulderig had the game-winning hit in game one. “The big one was in the 13th inning,” Davis said, “with two strikes and two outs.”
In the first game, sophomore Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) singled to lead off the 13th inning, was sacrificed to second by senior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) and scored on an RBI double by Mulderig to break a 2-2 tie.
Rider senior Chris Taylor (Sterling, VA/Dominion) pitched two innings of scoreless, hitless relief for the win, improving to 3-0 on the season. “The pitching in the first game was solid,” Davis said. “Taylor was good.”
Senior Sean Kuberiet (Branchburg/Somerville) pitched three scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit. Senior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.) started and pitched eight innings, striking out a career-high 10 batters. “Smith and Kuberiet were good,” Davis said.
Rider has now out-scored it opponents 38-16 in the seventh inning this year.
Niagara jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with three hits.
It was Rider’s first extra inning game of the season.
In the second game Niagara (16-30, 9-11 MAAC) again jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run home run.
A two-run double by Mulderig, his second of the day, following RBI singles by freshman James Locklear (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) and Lindsay and a dropped fly ball gave Rider a 6-2 lead in the second inning. Lindsay’s RBI single in the fifth inning made it 10-6. Lindsay had three hits in the second game
Mulderig’s two-run single in the fifth inning gave Rider a 12-6 lead.
Rider took a 9-2 lead in the third inning with three runs on four hits, including the first career RBI by freshman Connor Luff (Milford, DE/Milford).
Sophomore Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) hit a two-run double, his fourth hit of the game and fifth of the day, to give Rider a 14-6 lead. Thomas extended his hitting streak to nine games.
Junior Mike Murphy (Hamilton/Peddie) started and pitched five innings for his 16th career win. Murphy (6-4) improves to 4-1 vs. MAAC teams this year. Murphy was 5-1 in conference play last year as the 2012 MAAC Pitcher of the Year.
Senior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) had two hits in each game and now has 219 career hits, two hits shy of fifth most ever at Rider.
Niagara scored three runs on four hits in the third inning to cut the lead to 9-5 and scored an unearned run on two hits and a Rider error in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 9-6.
Rider scored six runs in the fifth inning to break the game open. “We were able to extend it after they put some hits in a row to cut into the lead,” Davis said.
Rider won two of three games with Niagara last year in Lawrenceville. The last time Rider came here to Western New York the Broncs won all three games.
Rider and Niagara have now met 45 times since the series began in 1997 with Rider winning 32, including seven of the last eight.
The third game of the series will be played Sunday at 12 noon.