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La Salle University 3, Rider University 2
LAWRENCEVILLE—The Broncs committed five errors in a loss to La Salle Tuesday. “You can’t win with five errors,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis.
The loss snapped Rider’s seven-game winning streak, the longest of the season. “You just hate to lose,” Davis said. “You just don’t want to lose.”
Rider (33-18) tied the score at 1-1 when freshman Lee Lipinski (Glen Arm, MD/Calvert) singled and scored on an RBI single by senior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) in the fifth inning, and took a 2-1 lead when freshman James Locklear (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) walked and scored on an RBI single by junior Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South).
La Salle (24-24) scored three unearned runs in the game off of six Rider pitchers, including two runs in the seventh inning without a hit on two Rider errors, a walk and a strikeout wild pitch.
Rider out-hit La Salle 7-4 despite having three non-regulars in the starting lineup. “That’s the goal of these games, to play some people who could be important in certain situations in the playoffs,” Davis said.
Rider sophomore pitcher David Hafer (Pine Grove, PA) started and pitched three innings, allowing one hit. “Hafer looked good,” Davis said. Hafer has now pitched in 17 games, more than 22 innings, and has yet to allow an earned run. “If we have a fourth or fifth game in the tournament we’re going to need some of these pitchers to perform for us.”
Rider beat La Salle 10-4 in the last meeting, in 2011 at Rider. The Broncs lost at La Salle 12-10 on a two-out, three-run, walk-off extra-inning home run in 2010.
Rider and La Salle were East Coast Conference rivals in the 1970s and early 1980s. The two teams have now met 51 times since the series began in 1968 with Rider winning 32. La Salle defeated Rider in the 1985 NCAA East Regional at South Carolina.
First place Rider (17-4) now travels to Poughkeepsie, NY to take on second place Marist (15-6) in the final series of the season. Rider has won its first seven MAAC series but only needs to win one of the three games at Marist to win its first MAAC regular season title.
The MAAC Tournament begins May 23 with a 3pm game and Rider plays at 7pm. The four teams are Rider, Marist, Canisius and Siena. The pairings will be decided this weekend.
“We’re going up there to win the games,” Davis said, “but at the same time we need to be consciences of getting the pitching rotation ready for the tournament.”