Top Seed on Line This Weekend
Broncs Need One for First
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Rider University baseball team will seek its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title this weekend when the first place Broncs travel to second place Marist for a three game series.
Rider (33-18, 17-4 MAAC) needs to win just one of the three games with Marist (25-21-1, 15-6 MAAC) to claim the regular season title and the top seed in the upcoming MAAC Championship Tournament, hosted by Rider May 23-26 at ARM & HAMMER Park, home of the Trenton Thunder.
Marist, Siena (14-7 MAAC) and Canisius (14-7 MAAC) have also qualified for the four-team tournament, with the final weekend deciding the seeds.
Marist would have to win all three games with Rider to claim first, and Rider would then finish in second. A Rider sweep and Marist could drop as low as fourth place.
The Broncs have won their first eight MAAC series this year for their most successful MAAC season in history and tied the program record for regular season wins (33). Rider’s best finishes in the MAAC before this year were 16-7 (2010) and 18-9 (2001).
Rider leads the MAAC in pitching and fielding and is third in the conference in hitting.
Marist is second in the MAAC in batting and third in both pitching and fielding.
Last season Marist won two of three games in Lawrenceville. Rider won two of three the last time the Broncs traveled to Poughkeepsie (2011).
The Broncs took two out of three from Marist in 2010 at Rider and then defeated the Red Foxes in the first round of the MAAC tournament in Fishkill, NY.
The Broncs and Red Foxes were Northeast Conference foes for five seasons before both institutions moved from the NEC to the MAAC in 1998. Marist holds a 38-31 lead in the all-time series that began in 1992. Before switching conferences Marist won the NEC Championship in 1997, ending Rider's three-year reign as NEC Champion.
Since both teams moved to the MAAC in 1998, Marist won conference titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2009 with Rider finishing runner-up in 1999, 2001 and 2002.
Regardless of the seeding, Rider will play at 7pm on May 23 in the first round of the MAAC Tournament.