Rider Names Most Valuable Player and Pitcher, Most Improved
Record Breaking Regular Season Celebrated with Team Awards
LAWRENCEVILLE—The Rider University baseball team celebrated its record breaking regular season by presenting its team awards at a private luncheon Monday. The awards are voted on by the players.
Junior Jerry Mulderig (Langhorne, PA/Council Rock South) was presented the team’s Most Valuable Player Award and senior Tyler Smith (Westmont/Haddon Twp.) was presented the team’s Most Valuable Pitcher Award. Sophomore Connor Luff (Milford, DE/Milford) was named the team’s Most Improved Player.
An All-New Jersey selection this year, Mulderig leads Rider in batting (.337, 60 hits in 51 games), on base percentage (.431), slugging percentage (.433) and walks (29), is second in stolen bases (16) and is third on the team in RBI (29). He has also pitched in 10 games this year and owns a 3-2 record. Mulderig is expected to be drafted this summer as a pitcher.
Smith started the first game of every series this year and won six games with a 3.35 earned run average. Smith ranks second in the MAAC in strikeouts (73) and leads Rider in innings pitched (86). A former All-East closer, Smith enters the tournament tied for fifth in career wins (20) and is second in career saves (27), while setting Rider records for appearances in a season and in a career.
Luff sat out last year as a freshman transfer from Gettysburg College and batted .313 this season as the third Rider catcher.
Rider (34-20) set a new program record for wins in a regular season and won its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Regular Season Title since winning the MAAC South in 1998, Rider’s first year in the league. Rider also enjoyed its finest MAAC regular season (18-6), surpassing 2010 (16-7) and 2001 (18-9).
Rider will now host the four-team MAAC Championship Tournament May 23-26 at ARM & HAMMER Park, home of the Trenton Thunder.
As the top seed, Rider plays the fourth seed, Siena (25-28, 15-9 MAAC) at 7pm Thursday. Rider won two of three games at Siena this year.
In the first game of the tournament Thursday afternoon, the second seed, Marist (27-22-1, 17-7 MAAC) plays the third seed, Canisius (39-15, 15-9 MAAC) at 3pm.
The Broncs will be seeking their 12th conference championship in the last 29 years. Rider won MAAC Titles in 2010 and 2008.
The winner of the MAAC Tournament will be one of 64 teams that advances to an NCAA Regional.
The 1967 Broncs advanced to the College World Series and finished fifth. Since then, 10 Rider teams have played in NCAA Regionals. The 1987 Broncs reached the East Regional Championship Game, the final 16 teams in the nation and one win away from the CWS.
In 2010 Rider played in the Regional at Austin, hosted by the University of Texas, and in 2008 Rider traveled to the Regional at Fullerton, hosted by Cal State Fullerton.