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Marist College 8, Rider University 6
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Broncs lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at Marist Sunday and the series in the regular season finale. Regular Season Champion Rider won the first seven series of the season.
Rider (34-20, 18-6 MAAC) out-hit Marist (27-22-1, 17-7 MAAC) 8-7 and had the tying run on base in the ninth inning. “We did some good things,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We came back and we had some opportunities. I like the fight we had in us.”
Second place Marist scored five runs in the fourth inning on just two hits, three walks, a wild pitch, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to take a 5-2 lead.
The Red Foxes added three more runs in the sixth inning with a pair of doubles and two walks to take an 8-2 lead. “We just didn’t play that well,” Davis said, “but it is pointless to worry about this loss. We came up here and we met the goal (clinching first place) and got a chance to play a good team.”
Rider senior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) homered, doubled and hit a two-run single in his final regular season game. “I liked what I saw with Ian,” Davis said.
In Lindsay’s last nine games he had 14 hits and 13 RBI. “We need him to be hot,” Davis said. “We need everybody to be hot.”
Lindsay hit his team-high fourth home run of the season and the seventh of his career to give Rider a 1-0 lead in the first inning. “It was good to score early because it was rainy and you didn’t know how many innings we would be able to play,” Davis said.
With two outs in the third inning sophomore Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) singled, Lindsay doubled and senior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial) hit an RBI single for a 2-0 lead. Wayman now enters the tournament with 227 career hits.
Freshman James Locklear (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) picked up his third RBI of the series with a run-scoring pinch-hit single with two outs in the eighth inning and Parsons followed with an RBI single for the final score.
Sophomore David Hafer (Pine Grove, PA) pitching into the fourth inning and allowed three hits and three walks in his third start of the season. After 25 and two-thirds innings pitched this year, Hafer finally allowed an earned run, giving up four.
The first four Rider pitchers walked seven batters. “We were trying to get some guys some innings, that was one of the goals,” Davis said. “They needed to get their work in so they’re ready for the tournament.”
Freshman Vincenzo Aiello (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville) pitched a three-up, three-down eighth inning, striking out one.
Sophomore Greg Fazio (Far Hills/Ridge) also singled Sunday and now has 97 career hits.
Rider’s best finishes in the MAAC before this year were 16-7 (2010) and 18-9 (2001). “It was a great season, we finished first and won 34 games,” Davis said. “Everybody is healthy and ready to go, so let’s get moving to the next thing.”
The next thing is Thursday at 7pm against Siena in the opening round of the four-team MAAC Championship Tournament, hosted by Rider at ARM & HAMMER Park, home of the Trenton Thunder.
“It’s a different kind of season now,” Davis said. “You don’t hold anything or anybody back, just find a way to win that game. We’re certainly looking forward to the challenge.”
In the first game of the tournament #2 Marist plays #3 Canisius at 3pm Thursday.
The losers from Thursday play Friday at 3pm and the winners from Thursday play Friday at 7pm. Saturday has a 2pm elimination game and a Championship Game at 6pm. If a seventh game is needed it will be Sunday at 1pm.
“We expect these games to be close and hard fought,” Davis said. “They’re going to come down to one to three plays in the game that make the difference.”