Rider University 3, Gardner-Webb University 2 (10 innings)
BOILING SPRINGS, NC—All’s well that ends well. Rider ended its five-game Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory.
The Broncs defeated Gardner-Webb in extra innings Wednesday evening. The victory snapped Rider’s seven-game losing streak. “It’s nice to win a game,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We played well and we did enough.”
Junior Nick Richter (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove) had two hits, scored three runs and stole four bases out of the leadoff spot for the Broncs. “He certainly set the table for us,” Davis said. “He’s been very productive in the leadoff spot.”
The MAAC Player of the Week last week, junior Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) had three RBI.
“Richter scored all the runs and Thomas knocked him in,” Davis said. “That was a good combination today.”
Richter singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Thomas for a 3-2 lead in the top of the tenth. “Good situational hitting by Justin,” Davis said.
Rider junior David Hafer (Pine Grove, PA) started for the third time and pitched five and a third innings, allowing one run on two hits. Hafer held the Runnin’ Bulldogs hitless for five and one third innings. “He struggled in the bull pen but went out and pitched well as a starter today,” Davis said. “It was nice to see. Wish we could have kept the score the way it was when he left so he could have gotten the win. He did a great job. He pitched out of a couple of jams.”
Sophomore Vincenzo Aiello (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville) pitched the final two innings, allowing just one hit for the win. “Vin was good,” Davis said.
Senior Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) had three of Rider’s nine hits. Richter and sophomore Connor Luff (Milford, DE/Milford) each had two hits. “We had a few guys who got some hits,” Davis said. Crescenzo now has 184 career hits, 19th most ever at Rider.
Gardner-Webb (8-13) tied the score at 2-2 in the seventh inning with a run on a hit-by pitch, a stolen base, a hit and two Rider errors.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs got on the board in the sixth inning with a double and a single, their first two hits of the game, cutting the Rider lead to 2-1.
Rider took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Richter singled, stole second and third and scored on a single by Thomas. Richter walked, stole second and scored on a ground out to give Rider a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
Rider (4-13) plays a doubleheader at NJIT Saturday before hosting NJIT Sunday at 1pm in the home opener. “We’ve been on the bus for eight days so it will be good to come home,” Davis said. “It’s been a grind. Hopefully we can get home and get into a rhythm.”