Rider University 5, Princeton University 3
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ—Rider stole a win Wednesday afternoon, defeating cross-town rival Princeton. “We played pretty well today,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis.
Rider (12-23) has now won three of its last four non-conference games.
The Broncs jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. “You always want to score first,” Davis said.
Junior Nick Richter (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove) led off with a hit batsman and went all the way to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out. “He is very aware of the situation,” Davis said of his third baseman. “Getting to third base with one out is important. That was a big play to get us started.”
Also in the first inning senior Nick Crescenzo (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) walked, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch. Freshman Giovanni Gussen (Mullica Hill, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) added an RBI single.
Richter, Locklear and Gussen each had two of Rider’s nine hits. Richter stole two more bases and now has 28 on the season. “Stealing bases is something I’ve been working on since junior college,” Richter said.
Richter began the game ranked fourth in the nation in stolen bases per game. “I’m just trying to help the team out,” Richter said. “Just trying to get into scoring position. It isn’t really about the stats for me, just trying to score runs.”
Crescenzo also stole two bases and is 17 of 19 on the season.
As a team, Rider stole five bases and has 64 stolen bases in 35 games, 18th most in the nation.
Rider junior pitcher Mickey Donnelly (Bayville, NJ/Central Regional) made his first start and allowed just one earned run in five innings for his first win. “We felt it was important to get him out there,” Davis said of his junior college transfer. “He hadn’t been throwing much and he was a starter in junior college. I thought he did a great job. He took advantage of the opportunity he was given.”
Freshman Mike Diorio (Middletown, NJ/Middletown South), freshman Josh Sharik (Ewing, NJ/Plumstead Christian) and sophomore Vincenzo Aiello (Staten Island, NY/Tottenville) pitched the final four scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Aiello picked up his fourth save.
Today was the 50th meeting between Rider and cross-town rival Princeton (12-25), with Rider holding a 28-22 advantage in the series that began in 1958.
Rider has now won the last four meetings with the Tigers.
The Broncs will try to steal a series against Manhattan this weekend.
Rider returns to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action with a three-game home series against the Jaspers, beginning with a doubleheader Saturday at 12 noon. “We’ve got four series’ left,” Davis said. “We’re in position to still meet our goals and we’re looking forward to the weekend.”