Wagner College 3, Rider University 2
BROOKLYN, NY—Between 1880 and World War II Coney Island was the largest amusement area in the United States.
On Tuesday afternoon, there was not much amusement for the Rider baseball team.
Despite out-hitting the home team 8-7, the Broncs lost to Wagner Tuesday at MCU Park on Coney Island, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones of the NY Mets organization. “We seem to have no margin for error,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We did not knock people in when we had the opportunities and Wagner did.”
The Mets’ Class A minor league team is named for one of the oldest roller coasters in the world, The Cyclone, located on Coney Island and is listed with the National Register of Historic Places.
On Tuesday the Broncs failed to enjoy their roller coaster ride of a ball game, building an early lead before falling at the end.
Coney Island is also the site of the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Rider (3-9) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but that was all the offense they could muster.
Wagner (2-8) scored three runs on two hits and two walks, all with two outs, in the seventh inning to take a 3-2 lead. “Give Wagner credit,” Davis said. “They took full advantage of the opportunities they had. That was the difference in the game.”
Junior Mike Parsons (Liverpool, NY) hit a two-out double in the ninth inning but was stranded.
In his first collegiate start, Rider freshman Josh Sharik (Ewing, NJ/Plumstead Christian) pitched five shutout innings, allowing just two hits without a walk while striking out two, leaving the game with a 2-0 lead. “Josh did a good job,” Davis said. “We should have had more than a 2-0 lead when he ;left.”
The Broncs took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on four hits, including doubles by Thomas and junior Greg Fazio (Far Hills/Ridge) and a sacrifice fly by Parsons.
“When you only allow three runs in a nine inning game you should win,” Davis said. “We continue to leave too many runners in scoring position. It is discouraging because we are not getting the timely hits.”
Rider and Wagner are former Northeast Conference rivals (1993-97). Rider and Wagner have now met 19 times since the series began in 1959, with Rider winning 14. The last time Rider played Wagner was in the 1997 NEC semifinals, a 20-6 Rider victory.
Rider now travels south for Spring Break, the first stop a three-game series at Western Carolina beginning at 4pm Friday.