NJIT 2, Rider University 1
Rider University 8, NJIT 5
NEWARK, NJ—The Broncs split a doubleheader with the New Jersey Institute of Technology Saturday at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
In Game Two Rider (5-14) scored eight runs in the ninth inning for the come-from-behind win. “We hadn’t done anything all day up until then,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We were dead in the water until that last inning.”
Senior Ken Kremer (Hershey, PA/Hershey) hit a three-run home run, his first career home run, to cut the lead to 5-3. “It came at a good time,” Davis said.
Kremer’s father, Rider Hall of Famer Kenny Kremer, was a two-time All-American at Rider, hitting a Rider-record 17 home runs as a sophomore in 1987 and batted a Rider-record .479 to win a national batting title in 1988 before beginning his pro career.
Sophomore James Locklear (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) followed with a three-run double, giving Rider a 6-5 lead, and senior Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) followed with a two-run triple for an 8-5 lead. “Huge hits,” Davis said. “I was concerned after Kenny’s home run because sometimes when you clear the bases it is hard to get it going again, but we did.”
NJIT (5-7) took a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning on a walk, a single, a triple and a sacrifice fly and scored two runs in the seventh on two hits, a walk, a sacrifice bunt and an error to take a 5-0 lead.
Freshman Ben Deaver (Fallston, Md./Calvert Hall) pitched one inning of scoreless, hitless relief, striking out three to gain the win, his first. “Ben did a good job,” Davis said. Deaver has pitched in four games this season and has yet to give up an earned run.
Sophomore Vincenzo Aiello (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville) pitched a three-up-three-down ninth inning for the save, his second of the season. “Vinnie had a chance to go right at them and he did,” Davis said.
Rider junior Zach Mawson (Magnolia, DE/Caesar Rodney) pitched six and one-third innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out three.
In Game One Rider out-hit NJIT 10-5 but left 11 runners on base.
Junior Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) had three of Rider’s 10 hits, while junior Nick Richter (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove) and Crescenzo each had two. Thomas had five hits on the day, including a triple. “Justin had another big day,” Davis said.
Richter had three hits in the doubleheader.
NJIT used a walk, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead.
NJIT took a 1-0 lead in the third inning with a two-out single and an RBI double.
Rider freshman Tyler Kaiser (Moorestown, NJ/Moorestown) picked up his first collegiate hit and later picked up his first RBI, tying the score at 1-1 in the fifth inning with a groundout.
Rider junior Kurt Sowa (Bensalem, PA/Fr. Judge), the 2013 MAAC Pitcher of the Year and the MAAC Pitcher of the Week earlier this year, pitched all six innings, striking out five. An All-East selection last season with an 11-1 record, Sowa is 1-3 this year.
Rider will host NJIT Sunday at 1pm in the 2014 home opener at Sonny Pittaro Field. “We’re just glad to be able to play a game without getting on a bus,” Davis said, after playing the first 18 games of the season on the road. “We need to build on today’s come-from-behind win if we can.”