MAAC Championship Tournament Day Two
#1 Rider University 5, #3 Canisius College 5 (Suspended)
MERCER COUNTY—The winners bracket game (Game 4) of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship tournament, held late Friday night at ARM & HAMMER Park, home of the Trenton Thunder, was suspended due to rain after the fourth inning. It will be resumed at 2pm Saturday.
Game Five, featuring Siena and the loser of Game Four, is scheduled for 6pm Saturday.
Sunday will be the Championship Round beginning at 12 noon.
In the first game Friday, pushed back from 3pm to 6pm due to rain, Siena (25-28) defeated Marist (27-23-1) 12-5 and eliminated the Red Foxes.
In the second game Friday, Rider (35-20) scored three runs in the fourth inning on three hits, including RBI singles by freshman James Locklear (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) and senior Adam Wayman (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./G.A.R. Memorial), two walks and a hit batsman, to tie the score at 5-5.
“Adam’s and Locklear’s hits were big for us,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis, the MAAC Coach of the Year. “Being gritty and tough, being able to bounce back, that is what has gotten us this far,” Davis said. “I wouldn’t expect anything less of this group.”
Rider has now scored more runs this year in the fourth inning (50) than any other inning.
Wayman, the All-MAAC third baseman, had two of Rider’s seven hits in the first four innings.
Sophomore Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge), the MAAC Pitcher of the Year, lasted just three and two thirds innings, allowing just three hits while striking out five but walked seven and hit a batter. Sowa (11-1) left the game trailing 5-2, with four of the runs reaching base on walks.
“You can’t do that,” Davis said of the walks. “Kurt has been very good all year but he has had a tendency to get behind in the count. The walks are never good.”
A two-run single by junior Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) in the first inning got Rider on the board.
After striking out the first two batters of the game, Sowa walked the bases loaded before giving up a grand slam, as Rider fell behind 4-0 in the first. Canisius (40-15) took a 5-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning on three more walks, a single and a sacrifice fly.
Sophomore Greg Fazio (Far Hills/Ridge) collected his 99th career hit in his 109th start with a single in the second inning.
Sowa defeated Canisius 3-2 during the regular season in the third game of the series this year.
Rider defeated Canisius all three times during the regular season this year.
Rider is 3-3 vs. Canisius in postseason play. Rider defeated Canisius twice in the 2010 MAAC tournament, including 4-2 in the Championship Game. Canisius defeated Rider 10-3 last year in the 2012 MAAC tournament.